The Summit in 1974


SUPER SERIES '76-77: Team USSR Clubs vs. WHA clubs

Quebec City (CP)

January 9, 1977
Quebec City, Quebec (CP)

Curt Brakenbury didn't want the part when it was first offered him, but he finally accepted coach Marc Boileau's casting of him as the third man, and Quebec Nordiques drew the rave reviews.

Brakenbury scored two goals, half his regular season production, to that time, as the Nordiques whipped the Soviet Union's national team 6-1 Saturday night., the second defeat for the Russians in a eight-game World Hockey Association tour.

"It was the third man we put on their blue –line or in the neutral zone who won the game for us," Boileau said. "He could stay back with our defensemen and break up their attack. The Russians were not able to capitalize on their long passes. The third man won the game."

Brakenbury, playing right wing on a line with Steve Sutherland, and Bob Fitchner, said he disagreed with the tactic when Boileau outlined it to him but later became the greatest convert to the cause.

"Boileau was right after all, I guess. He told me to stay on the blue-line while Fitchner and Sutherland fore-checked the Russians in their zone. I wanted to go after them with three men and hit them. But I did what Marc asked and I am not sorry now.

"I was playing the blue-line and I was able to intercept quite a few of their passes. We were able to come back with the puck right away and my goals resulted from that."

Fitchner muscled the puck along the boards in their zone and fed Brakenbury for the games first goal at 6:49 of the first period.

Serge Bernier beat Russian starting goaltender Vladislav Tretiak less than three minutes later and the Nordiques were ahead 2-0. Marc Tardif, Christian Bordeleau, and Normand Dube added other Quebec goals after Boris Mikhailov scored for the Russians at 12:40 of the opening period to cut the Nordiques lead to 2-1.

Dube and goaltender Ed Humphreys who stopped 29 shots are both on 10-game tryouts with the Nordiques after joining the team from Beauce Jaros of the North American Hockey league. That team folded last month.

"I was really nervous when I got to the rink, but I forgot about it during the warm-up", Humphreys said. "I never dreamed I would be playing against the Russians one day."

Humphreys was called into action Friday night in Hartford, Conn., for a 7-3 triumph over New England Whalers after Richard Brodeaur was injured. Serge Aubry, the other regular goalie, has not seen action in a game for more than a month. The Nordiques lost the services of two more players against the Russians. Paulin Bordeleau suffered a broken nose and was expected to miss two games, while defenseman Wally Weir injured a knee and has been shelved for two weeks.

"I was trying to change lines quickly," Boileau said. "Everybody played almost perfect. The Russians have a great machine and to be able to contain them like we did we must have a pretty fair hockey club."

Clarence Campbell, president of the National Hockey League, was among 11,119 spectators who gave the Nordiques a standing ovation in the closing seconds of the game.

Some Nordiques saw the result as a vindication of the league after criticism. The Russians lost the first game of their tour before compiling six consecutive victories.

"Last year the Montreal Canadiens tied a Russian team that wasn't as good as this one," said Tardif, referring to a 3-3 deadlock on December 31, 1975 between the Canadiens and central Red Army in Montreal.

Real Cloutier, the WHA's leading scorer, said he was excited by the Nordiques showing.



The Summit in 1974