Miracle On Ice:
Remembering Mike Eruzione & Lake Placid 1980

To say that Mike Eruzione is the United States greatest hockey legend sounds a little funny. He wasn't a great player. In fact he never made it to the NHL. Of all the great names in American hockey history, Eruzione would probably rank near the bottom in terms of hockey talent.

Yet Eruzione's lone significant accomplishment ranks highest of all American hockey achievements.

Mike Eruzione scored the game winning goal in the legendary "Miracle on Ice." Like Paul Henderson for Canada in 1972, Mike Eruzione will forever be remember for scoring that goal and little else.

The 1980 Olympic Games were of course held in Lake Placid New York. The American squad was led by head coach Herb Brooks and were heavy underdogs. In an exhibition game just prior to the Olympics, the Soviets dismantled a U.S. squad with an average age of 20, 11 goals to 3.

After an opening game tie against Sweden, the Americans would go on to win their next 4 games, only to find themselves against the Goliath known as the Soviet Union. Coach Brooks told his team "You were born to be hockey players. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours."

In a classic confrontation the teams remained tied with ten minutes to go. Enter Eruzione.

The confident youngster snapped a shot to give the U.S. a stunning 4-3 lead which they managed to hand on to despite immense pressure. The U.S. still had to play against Finland, but were already guaranteed the gold medal. The Soviets were forced to settle for silver.

Mike Eruzione wasn't a great hockey player. He was at the right place at the right time. Now he is forever etched into hockey history, and will go down as a Legend of Hockey

Further Research:
Can The U.S. Steal Olympic Gold From The Russians?
- an article by Dan Stoneking in The Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey: 1980 season, written half a year before the 1980 Olympics
Eruzione's late goal lifts US over USSR
- NHL.com
College kids perform Olympic miracle - ESPN Classic
US shocks Soviets in ice hockey 4-3 - Washington Post
Remembering the Miracle
- CNNSI
Tretiak will never forget Lake Placid
- IIHF website
Miracle on Ice team reunites
- Pittsburgh LIVE
Where Are They Now?
- Unknown
Reflecting on a Miracle - ESPN

1980 Miracle Coach Herb Brooks Killed In Car Accident

1960 Olympic gold medal
Real miracle was in 1960 - Daily Press
The Cold Wars - Squaw Valley 1960 - CNNSI

 
Do You Believe in Miracles?: The Story of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team  (DVD) 
You don't need to know anything about hockey to be moved by this hour long documentary about one of the greatest upsets in sports history: the United States' defeat of the vaunted Russian Olympic hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The story is retold in interviews with the people who lived it, including Brooks and several of the American players, sportscaster Al Michaels and key Russian players. Do You Believe in Miracles? is a solid blend of sports and history that focuses on the human element in one of the great underdog victories of all time
cover The true-life tale of the American Olympic Hockey Team at the 1980 Lake Placid Games during which they triumphed, against all odds, to beat the Soviet Union squad, who at that point, were the most unstoppable force in the world  Kurt Russell does an incredible job as Herb Brooks, while real hockey players, including former NHLers Ryan Walter, Sasha Lakovic and Bill Ranford do the hockey scenes. A must have for any hockey fan.

Miracle [Wide Screen] [2 Discs] - Miracle [Full Screen] [2 Discs]