Alexander Bodunov left quite an impression on fans in Winnipeg during the 1972 Summit Series.
Bodunov was one of the members of the Soviet's "Kid Line," also dubbed the "Headache Line" by Canadian broadcaster Brian Conacher. Bodunov was the left winger who was introduced along with fellow linemates Viacheslav Anisin and Yuri Lebedev in game three of the series.
This trio re-energized the Soviets when the debuted in Winnipeg. The Soviets handily won game one, and even though they claim they felt like they played better in game 2, lost convincingly to a recharged Team Canada.
Game three was in many ways a very pivotal match. It ended in a tie but was a moral loss for Canada.
The key for the Soviets early success was the element of surprise they could utilize, as Canada knew almost nothing about their opponent. After two games Canada had learned much about them.
Then the kid line entered the scene.
Canada didn't pay much attention to these three unknowns prior to the game. Why would they? These three youngsters surely couldn't be better than any three players they replaced - if they were they would have been playing since game one. And the Soviets had publicly said that these three were being inserted so that they could "learn" and make themselves better players for the future.
But the Kid Line, as dubbed by the Canadian media, played a pivotal role in the game. Canada held a 4-2 lead half way through the second period when these kids took over. First at 14:59, Lebedev brought the Soviets back to within one goal. Then, with about 1 and 1/2 minutes left in the second stanza, Alexander Bodunov snapped home a shot from the crease to beat Tony Esposito and knot the game at 4.
Bodunov's goal proved to be the final goal of the game, as goalies Esposito and, in particular, Vladislav Tretiak shut the door.
After making quite a name for themselves in game 3 in Winnipeg, the Kid Line was not often heard from again, at least not as far as Canadians knew. The big names like Kharlamov, Petrov, Mikhailov and Tretiak would continue to be great players, but the three heroes of game 3 did not join them as Soviet stars.
The trio did leave CSKA Moscow to join Boris Kulagin to join Krylja Sovetov. The trio led the Moscow based team to an upset victory over CSKA in 1974 to claim the USSR league championship.
But they were not always used on the national team, or would be used separately, as the 1970s progressed.
Bodunov was an inconsistent player. On one night he could be the best player on the ice, but the next he would be nowhere to be found. He had a great arsenal of hockey talent, featuring his heavy shot and creative play making, but his defensive play left much to be desired.