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September 22, 2012

1972 Summit Series: Game 5: Buried In Moscow

Team Canada nicknamed themselves as Team 50 once they arrived in the Soviet Union. After being unceremoniously booed off the ice in the final game in Canada, the team felt alone in the world. Seemingly it was just the 50 of them (players plus the coaches, trainers, doctors, etc.) behind the vaunted Iron Curtain, and they were taking on the mighty Soviet empire all by themselves.

Or so they thought.

It quickly became obvious that they did, in fact, have the support of the Canadian public, and that played a major role in Canada's successes in Russia.

Approximately 3,000 Canadian fans made the trip to Moscow. They cheered on their heroes from bad seats in Luzhniki Ice Palace, but they didn't care. They cheered and partied so enthusiastically that the usually calm and collected Russian spectators seemed to be taken aback by the Canadians' behaviour.

And tens of thousands of Canadians back home sent best wishes in the form of telegrams to the team. The team pasted these telegrams in their dressing room so that they would be reminded of the support that they did indeed have -- the support that they thought they had last after the first four games of the series.

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