Ron Ellis wasted no time celebrating Paul Henderson's Summit Series-clinching goal

Team Canada 1972 Summit Series hero Paul Henderson poses with a print of

Team Canada 1972 Summit Series hero Paul Henderson poses with a print of "The Goal" in his Mississauga, Ont., backyard. (JACK BOLAND/QMI Agency file photo)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:29 PM ET

Ron Ellis was known for his speed.

But the winger hit a whole new gear when Paul Henderson scored the Summit Series-winning goal with 34 seconds remaining in Game 8. He even beat some of the players who were on the ice in the quest to mob Henderson, who jumped into Yvan Cournoyer's arms after netting the historic goal to beat the Soviet Union.

"If you look at the pile in the corner, I was one of the first," Ellis said. "I think I was the first guy from the bench.

"That's not like me, but it (shows) how much I was into the moment. When the puck went in, I wanted to be the first guy over the boards and jump on my friend.

"I wanted to be part of the pile."

Seemingly nearly everyone in Canada has seen Henderson's goal, 40 years ago in Moscow.

Imagine the joy of seeing it live.

"I was surprised their defenceman let Paul have two cracks at it," said Canadian defenceman Bill White, who was on the ice when the miracle goal was scored.

"I would have panicked -- after the first shot didn't go in, I would have gone back to the blue line. I've always been impressed about goal scorers, all they're looking at is the back at the net. You could be hacking at them, but they're so concentrated on scoring a goal.

"I saw him shoot, but I couldn't see what happened. When I saw his hands go up, I knew we had it. Whoa, it was nice to see that, I'll tell you."

Canada's bench cleared to join the celebration, even though 34 seconds remained in the 6-5 game.

Ellis' biggest memory: "It was almost like slow motion. It's hard to explain what it was like but you could see something was happening."

Phil Esposito was front and centre, which should come as no surprise.

He pounced on the loose puck when Soviet defencemen Valery Vasiliev and Yuri Lyapkin mishandled it.

"I was heading back to our zone and I saw the puck squirted from them and just snapped my wrist to make sure I got it on the net. That was my game anyway," Esposito said.

"I put it on the net and Paul had got up, both Vasiliev and Lyapkin lost sight of him and for some inexplicable reason (Vladislav) Tretiak kicked that easy shot of mine right back in front and Paulie put it in.

"I've said this before, that's as close as I've come to kissing another guy."

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak


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