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Sean Mitton (at right) meets hockey great Paul Henderson.

By Rebecca Cohoe

The opportunity:
It was the shot heard "round the world," or at least wherever Canadians were watching. Paul Henderson's famous goal in the 1972 Canada-USSR Super Series is seen as a defining moment in Canadian hockey history, and one of those unifying moments that contributed to the collective memory of this country. It's a concept that appeals to Sean Mitton, founder and executive director of the Canadian Ex-Pat Network.

"Living abroad, you get much more sense of what being a Canadian really means," he said.

After his organization brought Mr. Henderson to Raleigh, N.C., for an event, Mr. Mitton said he realized the true significance of the goal.

"While the U.S. has many collective moments of history, many are negative, assassinations or disasters, while Canada has this positive, uniting moment," he said.

The project:
While Mr. Mitton has seen plenty of interviews and stories about the memories of the coaches and players involved in the summit, he realized there were probably stories left untold by the scores of people watching at home, in bars and across university campuses.

Mr. Mitton is currently collecting memories and stories about the 1972 series from across Canada and the world to be compiled online and in a commemorative book. Mr. Henderson will contribute a forward to the book which will be launched this fall at the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame.

People who would like to share their memories are invited to submit online at www.72project.com. Stories are also being accepted via phone and through YouTube.

While the creation of a book is the physical goal of the project, Mr. Mitton thinks the end result will extend even further.

"It's really neat to see people's eyes light up. Whether they're passionate hockey fans or Canadians it's the same response. This is a chance for friends and families to share memories and relive a great moment in our history."

Interested in learning more about this project? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at bfurst@mun.ca.

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