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First Soviet goalscorer at 1972 Summit Series Yevgeni Zimin dies aged 71

First Soviet goalscorer at 1972 Summit Series Yevgeni Zimin dies aged 71
Ice hockey legend Yevgeni Zimin, who made history by scoring the first goal for the Soviet Union in the 1972 Series against Canada, died on Thursday at the age of 71.

The sad news was announced by FC Spartak on Twitter, the team where Zimin spent almost 10 years, during which he won two national titles with the Red and Whites.

Zimin started playing hockey with Lokomotiv Moscow in 1964, but joined Spartak in 1965 and played there until 1974.

Together with the invincible ‘Red Machine,’ as the Soviet team was dubbed for its decade-long string of victories, Zimin claimed two Olympic titles in 1968 and 1972.

The forward shot to international fame in 1972 during the legendary Summit Series against NHL professionals, becoming the first goalscorer for the Soviet team at the eight-game tournament.

Possessing explosive speed, Zimin scored midway through the first period, putting an end to Canada’s early momentum after they netted two goals at the beginning of the first period.

The important goal inspired the Soviet players, who later reversed the course of a tough game, beating the hosts by a crushing score of 7-3, with Zimin adding one more goal to his name in the series opener.

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However, the player failed to take part in all eight games against Canadian rivals – he was withdrawn from the team after two games due to injury.

Zimin’s funeral funeral will be held in Moscow on Saturday.