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Canada Russia '72 2006
Description: In 1972, a historical ice hockey minigame series is arranged where the cream of Canadian's professional star users of the National Hockey League vs the greatest of the Soviet Union. Although Canada and the USSR have faced off repeatedly on the amateur lvl before, most of Canada is smugly convinced that the Soviets will be no match for the pros. However, that assumption is forcefully shot down when Squad Canada is soundly trounced in the first minigame by the skilled Soviet Union team. What follows is a bitter struggle as Squad Canada wars to recover in a series that would change Canadian hockey's self-image and history forever.
Released: N/A Director: N/A Writers: N/A Actors: Mark A. Owen, Sonia Laplante, David Berni, Gabriel Hogan Genres: Drama, History, Sport
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Canada Russia '72 Reviews:

First, allow me tell I enjoyed this TV film more than I thought. Like nearly each another Canadian over 40, I remember the Henderson target and the drama leading up to it. So, I thought a drama about "the drama" would surely fall short. I was pleasantly surprised. The key characters are all well represented with their most memorable details intact. We have Eagleson the Shyster, Sinden the Skinflint, Espo the Braggart, Ferguson the Vulgar, Cournoyer the Shy, Dryden the Intellectual, and Henderson the Character (sort of a Canuck 7 dwarfs). The period setting and feel is dead on, reminiscent of the film TRUDEAU which took zone roughly the same time. Like TRUDEAU, the real Canadian soundtrack supports immensely. The Poppy Family's "Evil Grows", Lighthouse's "One Fine Morning", Crowbar's "Oh, What A Feeling", and 2 tunes every from Five Boy Electrical Band("Signs","Absolutely Right") and The Guess Who("No Sugar Tonight" and "No Time")punctuate the plot at appropriate times. The movie ends with Leonard Cohen's haunting "Avalanche" testing as a sense of relief settles over the players. This 70s soundtrack serves to remind us that we've produced nice musicians as well as nice athletes. Personally, I prefer watching highlights of the original thing (Cournoyer, the Roadrunner who got the TYING target was a bigger character to me than Henderson at the time), but this movie's heart is in the right zone and you can't fault them for that. This film will have limited appeal to non Canadians and non hockey fans, but for the rest of us, it is a pure delight to be reminded of our MIRACLE, our shot heard around the world, at least this part of the world.


First-rate cast and script! David Miller (Paul Henderson) was a stand-out, as was Judah Katz (Eagleson) Hold up the perfect work, CBC! I especially appreciated the precision of this acc I felt the job was particularly nice in view of the iconic nature of this project. The writers and director resisted the temptation to emotionally overload the storyline with a lot of false rhetoric. I appreciated the script's subtlety, the sense of duality felt by team-members, wanting to enjoy their very best, yet under intense pressure to succumb to the 'win at all costs' mentality, perfectly exemplified by Henderson/Miller and Esposito on one hand, and 'The Eagle', Fergie and Clarke on the other. Like many Canadians I'm sure, as the series progressed, I felt I really just wanted my guys to "pull it together", and victory the series- no matter how Hard-Assed they had to be to victory it! Thanks again CBC! A very classy product! Mike Fullerton


First of all, know this. My most vivid childhood memory is of classes being suspended on September 28, 1972 and everyone going to watch Minigame #8 of the Summit Series in the high school library. When Cournoyer scored the target that tied things at five, I heard myself tell aloud "They're gonna win" before few witnesses. Later, with 34 seconds left, Paul Henderson saved my hide and made me a seer.I have everytime thought the '72 Summit Series was tailor-made for a movie, or TV mini-series. At last we have developed enough confidence in our Canadian film-making prowess to attempt something. The casting in this tool is dead-on, with Booth Savage 'being' Harry Sinden, akin to Kurt Russell 'being' Herb Brooks in MIRACLE. I am reminded of Sinden's ebook 'Hockey Showdown' whenever Savage and Tag Owen (John Ferguson) perform together.The interesting sub-plot about Frank Mahovlich's obsessive disdain for the Russians is something past documentaries have seen fit to gloss over. Does the story appear in this TV drama because Frank was appointed to the Senate and his life is actually public domain? Alan Eagleson is portrayed with surprising sympathy despite his show incarceration for misappropriating NHL pension funds.The child who plays Esposito seems almost too handsome and clean for the role (Espo was exponentially more greasy, not to mention more arrogant and vulgar), although he did a nice job with Phil's "speech" after Minigame #4 in Vancouver. The original play-by-play by Foster Hewitt and Brian Conacher still gives me goosebumps today - I'm glad they kept it in, particularly Hewitt's call of the historic climax.The present isn't perfect, but it is a project that took kahunas to tackle and everyone involved could be proud to have been part of it.



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