Today in Hockey History: Soviet Union Wins Summit Series Opener

Summit Series

Hockey is finally back, but we at Last Word on Hockey are still going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for September 2nd, featuring the Summit Series.

Today in Hockey History

USSR Takes Summit Series Opener

1972: The Soviet Union shocks Canada, 7-3, in the opening game of the Summit Series. Many thought the Russians would not fare well against the Canadian pros. However, would overcome goals by Phil Esposito and Paul Henderson with a pair of goals by Valeri Kharlamov.

Bobby Clarke scores to make it 4-3, but the Soviets pull away with three consecutive goals. Canada would eventually triumph in eight games by winning five games.

Other Notable Events

1943: Coach and general manager Glen Sather is born in High River, Alberta. He plays 11 seasons between the NHL and WHA, but makes a name as a coach and executive. Sather builds the Edmonton Oilers teams that win five Stanley Cups from 1984-90. He enters the Hall of Fame in 1997, but joins as New York Rangers general manager in 2000.

1965: Ruben Pastor files an application for a franchise based in Buffalo, N.Y. to be admitted into the NHL. He is one of three brothers that own the Buffalo Bisons franchise of the AHL. The team gains entry into the league as the Buffalo Sabres in 1970.

1967: Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Turk Broda headlines this year’s Hall of Fame class. Neil Colville, Harry Oliver and referee Red Storey are also inducted.

1976: The first Canada Cup begins as the hosts rout Finland, 11-2, in Ottawa. It’s the first tournament that allows pros to represent their respective countries. The tournament also marks the international return for Team Canada after a four-year boycott of the IIHF. Bobby Hull and Bobby Orr help Canada down the Finns. Hull wasn’t allowed to participate in the Summit Series because he was in the WHA and Orr was nursing a knee injury.

1999: The Minnesota Wild name Doug Risebrough as the team’s first general manager. He stays with the Wild until April 2009.

2003: Kirk Muller announces his retirement after 19 seasons in the league. The Kingston, Ontario native played for the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Leafs, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars. He scores 357 goals and 959 points in 1,349 games.

Happy Birthday to You

1943: Glen Sather

1956: Mario Tremblay

1957: Bobby Gould; Doug Smail

1963: Gerard Gallant

1965: Kevin Miller

1969: Stephane Matteau

1973: Jason Blake

1974: Sami Salo

1995: Aleksander Barkov