MIRACLE ON ICE – 34 YEARS LATER
Today is the anniversary of the 1980 Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid, when during the height of the cold war a bunch of American college students beat the best hockey team in the world. All punctuated by Al Michael’s final call: “Do You Believe in Miracles!” Clearly we did and still do today
While this year’s Olympic squad will not be taking home the gold despite an amazing run, they did achieve a small miracle.
Last week, the U.S. men’s hockey team stunned the Russians in a shoot-out victory on their home ice. It was only the fourth time the U.S. had beaten the Russians/Soviets in Olympic competition (compared to 9 losses) and the first time on anything other than U.S. soil.
The Four Victories
1960: Squaw Valley’s “Forgotten Miracle”
The U.S. won its first Olympic hockey gold in 1960 when it hosted the Games at Squaw Valley, California. Ironically, the U.S. team included a player named Herb Brooks who was cut a week before the Games. The U.S. won all 7 games en route to the Gold Medal, outscoring their opponents 29-11.
As in Lake Placid, they faced the Soviet Union in the penultimate game during the medal round, winning 3-2. They clinched the Gold Medal beating Czechoslovakia 9-4 the next night.
1980: Lake Placid’s Miracle on Ice
After Squaw Valley, the Soviet Union had won 5 straight Olympic Gold Medals and 5 straight world championships. They beat the U.S. 10-3 in an exhibition game just before the Olympics, but then Herb Brooks’ team of college kids did the impossible.
Despite being outshot 39-16, the American college kids beat the best team in the world 4-3. Two days later, they came back from a 2–1 third period deficit to defeat Finland 4–2 and win the Gold Medal.
2002: Salt Lake City’s Semi-Final Win
The U.S. team tied Russia in group play and faced them again in the semifinals on the 22-year anniversary of their Lake Placid Miracle. The Americans stormed out to a 3–0 lead and held on to win 3-2.
Canada won the Gold Medal game 5-2.
2014: Shootout at Sochi
With President Putin watching, the game clearly had political implications for the first time since Lake Placid and Team USA responded by winning 3-2 in a thrilling overtime shootout.
|Feb. 3, 1956||Medal Round||L||0||4|
|Feb. 27, 1960||Medal Round||W||3||2|
|Jan. 29, 1964||Round Robin||L||1||5|
|Feb. 9, 1968||Round Robin||L||2||10|
|Feb. 9, 1972||Round Robin||L||2||7|
|Feb. 6, 1976||Round Robin||L||2||6|
|Feb. 22, 1980||Medal Round||W||4||3|
|Feb. 17, 1988||Pool Play||L||5||7|
|Feb. 21, 1992||Semifinals||L||2||5|
|Feb. 16, 2002||Pool Play||T||2||2|
|Feb. 22, 2002||Semifinals||W||3||2|
|Feb. 21, 2006||Pool Play||L||4||5|
|Feb. 15, 2014||Pool Play||OTW||3||2|