The most famous goal in Canadian hockey history occurred on this date in 1972, as
Things did not start off any better for the Canadians in Moscow either, as Team Canada led 4-1 only to have the Soviets come back to win the game 5-4, putting them ahead three games to one, along with a tie and three home games remaining.
While the series was supposed to be a "friendly" series of exhibition games with no overall winner, the Game 3 tie in Winnipeg left an odd amount of games to divide between the two sides, and when hen the Soviets proclaimed that even if Game 8 ended in a tie, they would be the winners on the basis of scoring one more goal than the Canadians during the series.
In an effort to ensure the best possible chance for a Soviet victory, they orchestrated a change in officials the night before the decisive game, choosing to replace the previously selected Swede and Czech referees with the same East German pair Josef Kompalla and Franz Baader
Canada threatened to leave Moscow without even playing Game 8 if that were the case and a compromise was reached where the the Soviets hand picked their favorite East German, while the Canadians got to choose the Czech ref Rudi Bata, who Canadian organizer Alan Eagleson figured didn't like the Soviets any more than he did!
At that point, Esposito, who was following the play, put the puck softly in front of the goal where Henderson, now back on his skates and, returning to play from behind the net, was able to jump on the loose puck and swat it towards Tretiak, who blocked with his leg. The puck bounced off his pads, allowing Henderson a second shot at glory, which he put over the sprawled Soviet goaltender to give Canada the series victory with only 34 seconds remaining in the contest.
The success of the 1972 Summit Series led to an attempt at a repeat in 1974, only this time with a team made up of players from the World Hockey Association, which was one sided in favor of the Soviets and failed to capture the public's imagination despite the inclusion of both Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull, who were both absent in 1972.
The concept of the Summit Series eventually evolved into the Canada Cup tournament, which featured an expanded field of six teams, which in turn led to the current World Cup of Hockey.
The 1972 Summit Series also influenced many aspects of how the game was approached and played in North America, with off-season training now becoming important, as well as various strategy differences in puck possession and player positioning.