In The SystemOld-Time Hockey Photos

When The Jr. Habs Humbled The Mighty Soviets

Winners of back-to-back Memorial Cup titles in 1968-69 and 1969-70, the Montreal Jr. Canadiens were arguably the greatest junior hockey squad ever assembled.

A dozen of the 1969-70 Jr. Habs would go on to play in the NHL. Six of them were NHL first-round draft picks, including center Gilbert Perreault, chosen first overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1970.

Perreault scored an NHL-rookie record 38 goals in 1970-71. His Baby Habs and Sabres teammate Richard Martin shattered the mark in 1971-72, netting 44 goals.

The night of Dec. 29, 1969, there was a capactiy crowd of 18,057 at the Montreal Forum to watch the Jr. Canadiens play an exhibition game. They’d be facing the world champion Soviet national team.

Canada vs Russia, 1969

The Soviet squad included several players who’d come perilously close to upsetting the NHL Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series before succumbing 4-3- in the eight-game set. That list included goalies Vladislav Tretiak and Vladimir Shepovalov, defensemen Yuri Lyakpin, Viktor Kuzkin, Alexei Gusev and Alexander Ragulin and forwards Evgeni Zimin, Evgeni Paladiev, Vladimir Petrov, Vitali Davydov, Boris Mikhailov, Valeri Kharlamov, Alexander Maltsev, Vladimir Vikulov, Vladimir Shadrin, Vyacheslav Starshinov and Vyacheslav Solodukhin. The legendary Anatoli Tarasov was behind the Russian bench.

The Jr. Habs were bolstered by seven pros, a list highlighted by future NHLers such as goaltender Jim Rutherford, defenseman Andre Dupont and Guy Lapointe and forwards Rejean Houle, Guy Charron and Lucien Grenier.

The Soviets took a 2-1 lead in the first period but it was all Jr. Canadiens after that. Montreal scored the next seven goals. Led by two goals and three assists from Perreault, they routed the world champs 9-3.

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