OTTAWA — Members of the legendary hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union for hockey supremacy 50 years ago have pulled off another improbable victory — a rare moment of unity in the House of Commons.
Parliamentarians from all political stripes honoured several of Team Canada's stars from the 1972 Summit Series on the House floor following question period on Thursday as the nation continues to celebrate the anniversary of one of the most iconic moments in Canadian history.
Paul Henderson, who scored the series-winning goal, was among those in attendance, along with goaltender Ken Dryden, brothers Frank and Peter Mahovlich, speedy winger Yvan Cournoyer and defenceman Serge Savard.
The players were greeted to a standing ovation as they entered the House and shook hands with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, among others.
"I remember growing up with players like Yvon Cournoyer and Ken Dryden as heroes," Trudeau said. "I'm even wearing my Habs socks today."
Trudeau, whose father Pierre Trudeau was prime minister at the time of the Summit Series, gave a blow-by-blow account of the eight-game affair that saw an overconfident Canadian team post a troubling 1-1-2 record over the first four games at home before winning three of four games in Moscow, each by a goal.
Those in the House rose for another ovation when Trudeau described Henderson's winning goal in the decisive eighth game in Moscow.
"They weren't only heroes because they had won the series, they were heroes because they taught us a lesson. They showed us how grit and hard work pays off. They showed us that even when there's only 34 seconds left to play, you never give up."
Poilievre called legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt's description of the winning goal "a call that still thrills us all half a century later."
"Even those of us who were born after 1972," the 43-year-old Poilievre said, eliciting a laugh.
Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet said that, despite differences between Quebecers and other Canadians, they share the "unshakable conviction that hockey is the greatest sport in the world."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2022.
The Canadian Press