The 1972 Summit Series was played between the the Soviet Union and Canada. It was an eight game series in which four of them were played in Canada and the other four in Moscow, Russia.
The series was to be played by the Russian Olympic team (who proved to be the best international team in the world) and the Canadian NHL all-stars.
The series was played during a heightened moment of the Cold War. Both sides played this series not just for hockey supremacy, but also for political pride.
The first four games were played in Canada with the Soviets winning two, the Canadians winning one, and one ending in a tie. Heading back to Russia the Soviets led the series.
The first game in Russia, Canada lost once again. They now faced a very likely possibility of losing the series. With three games remaining, the Canadians were down two games.
Reluctant to lose, Canada edged out the next two games with scores of 3-2 and 4-3. The eighth and final game would decide the winner of the Summit Series.
The game proved to be a classic match.
At the end of the first period the score was tied at 2-2, but by the time the second intermission came around the Soviets were ahead 5-3.
Things weren't looking good for the Canadians but they managed to jump back in the third period scoring two early goals.
At this point there was a lot of ruckus in the crowd and the Soviet police even had to detain a few people which delayed the game for a bit.
With the clock winding down and the score tied it looked as though the Soviets were going to win because they had the better goal differential.
Paul Henderson jumped on the ice out of shift to replace Peter Mahovlich. Phil Esposito took a shot on net with 34 seconds left and Henderson put home the rebound to win the series for the Canadians.
Many in the Soviet Union did not view this as a fair win because a lot of their better players weren't playing at the time, but many of the great Canadian players at the time (mainly Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, and Gordie Howe) were.
Regardless of what may or may not have been a "fair win," this still proved be a monumental win for the Canadians both in hockey and politically.
This is the greatest and most famous goal in Canadian history.