Miracle On Ice

| February 22, 2021

1980 US Olympic Hockey Team

Underdog US Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviet powerhouse today, 41 years ago. AW1 Rod sends.

U.S. hockey team beats the Soviets in the “Miracle on Ice”

In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators. Two days later, the Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.

The Soviet team had captured the previous four Olympic hockey golds, going back to 1964, and had not lost an Olympic hockey game since 1968. Three days before the Lake Placid Games began, the Soviets routed the U.S. team 10-3 in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Americans looked scrappy, but few blamed them for it—their average age, after all, was only 22, and their team captain, Mike Eruzione, was recruited from the obscurity of the Toledo Blades of the International League.

Few had high hopes for the seventh-seeded U.S. team entering the Olympic tournament, but the team soon silenced its detractors, making it through the opening round of play undefeated, with four victories and one tie, thus advancing to the four-team medal round. The Soviets, however, were seeded No. 1 and as expected went undefeated, with five victories in the first round.

Read more about the stunning Cold War upset here: History.com
Thanks, Rod.

Category: America, Bravo Zulu, Cold War

Comments (13)

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    • Hondo says:

      As good as that speech was in motivating his team, it might well be Brooks’ second-best motivational speech of the tournament. And his other speech was much shorter that the first.

      After beating the Soviets, the US team still had to win against Finland to ensure receiving Gold Medal. (Depending on the outcome of that game and the USSR-Sweden game, the US could have finished anywhere from 1st to 3rd overall.) That game was played two days after their victory over the Soviet team.

      As might be expected, the US team experienced a bit of a letdown after their victory over the Soviets. They came out flat against Finland; for the first two periods they didn’t play anywhere near as well as they did against the Soviet Union. At that point the US trailed Finland 2-1.

      Brooks came into the locker room between the second and third (final) periods. His speech this time reputedly consisted of two sentences, though sources differ by a word in the first sentence.

      After entering the locker room, Brooks stopped. He looked at his team and said, “If you lose this game, you’ll take it to your f**king graves.” (At least one account omits the word “f**king” from this sentence.)

      Brooks then took a few more steps, stopped, again looked at his team, and then uttered his second sentence: “Your f**king graves.” Brooks then walked out.

      The US team scored three goals in the third period and allowed none, winning the game 4-2 and securing the gold medal.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_on_Ice#Gold_medal

      http://herbbrooks1980.weebly.com/gold-medal-game.html

  1. Hondo says:

    “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

    FWIW: after beating the Soviets, the US team still had to beat Finland to secure the Gold Medal – no small task, as if I recall correctly Finland was seeded second. They did.

    I watched the final minutes of the match with Finland in the PX at Fort Bragg, NC, as it occurred.

    EDITED to correct error in original. Finland was seeded 5th overall at the beginning of the 1980 Olympic Ice Hockey tourney; the US was seeded 7th.

    • AW1 Rod says:

      Still gives me chills, and always will. And I’ll always remember where I was and who I was with the night that her Brooks’ boys defeated the “best team on the planet.”

  2. KoB says:

    “Murica, HELL YEAH!” Was so very proud of those Lads then and am just as proud of them now. That Victory set off a string of Victories for America during the 80s. Well, til Bush “Read my lips…” the Oneth came along. Which led to the entrenchment of the Deep State.

    Too bad we had to wait 28 years to get a President that loved this Country as much as many of us True Patriots do.

  3. MustangCryppie says:

    Excellent movie about this is “Miracle”. Kurt Russell is great as Herb Brooks.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0349825/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_20

    • ChipNASA says:

      I wasn’t all impressed at the time, I was probably under the influence of green leafy stuff being a teenager know-it-all, BUT the movie Miracle with Kurt Russell *IS* really, REALLY, good.
      I can’t remember when but it’s been recent in my adult life that I’ve seen it, say, 5-6 years? Yeah, it’s worth it.

      • MustangCryppie says:

        Back during a time when most Americans were UPSET that our country was going down the shitter, this event really pumped up our morale. It would only get better.

        I can even remember when our “leaders” were against the SOBs trying to take down our republic.

        My, how times have changed!

  4. OWB says:

    One of the greatest moments in American sports. Ever.

    • David says:

      Watched it with a buddy who was inn the Old Guard at the time: Here’s to ya, Walt! Heard he moved on a few years back…hope Heaven has Michelob for him.

  5. Devtun says:

    Payback for the US’s shocking loss to the USSR national team in the 1972 Olympics basketball final. The first loss ever for the USA national basketball team (US record was 63-0). One of the most controversial matches ever in Olympics history. The US team refused to accept their silver medals.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Olympic_Men's_Basketball_Final#United_States_protest

    Two excellent films on the Soviet hockey team from Amazon or YouTube movies.

    The Russian Five

    Red Army

  6. E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

    I remember it well. The US team was younger and less experienced than the Soviets, but they were talented. Of the 20 players on Team USA, 13 eventually played in the NHL.Five of them played over 500 NHL games, and three of them played over 1,000 NHL games. Mark Johnson scored in the game and all Olympians with more than 500 NHL goals. USA!USA!USA!USA!USA!