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Jan 25, 2021

After overwhelming response to our Episode 194 exploration ​of hockey's epic 1972 "Summit Series," we gas up the Zamboni for a return visit into Canada/Russian competition lore - this time for the equally intriguing (but often overlooked) sequel Summit Series of 1974 - with sports author/historian Craig Wallace (The Forgotten Summit: A Canadian Perspective on the 1974 Canada-Soviet Hockey Series).
While ostensibly a "round two" between the world's top national hockey programs, the 1974 Series differed in that the Canadian side was comprised exclusively of players from the World Hockey Association (WHA) - a major preseason promotional boost for the fledgling two-year-old circuit still struggling to gain a pro foothold against the mighty NHL.
As a result, wildly popular Canadian WHA stars like Winnipeg's Bobby Hull, Houston's Gordie Howe and Cleveland's Gerry Cheevers - each forbidden by the NHL from playing two years earlier - saw their first national team action, joined by returning series veterans Paul Henderson, Frank Mahovlich and Pat Stapleton.
Despite a strong start in the first two games, Team Canada could not replicate its trailblazing success from their 1972 exploits; the Soviets won the series (4 wins, 3 ties, 1 loss) - but as Wallace reveals, the games were close, extremely competitive and wildly entertaining - replete with just as much drama and excitement as its predecessor (and even better uniforms).