MaOn February 22, 1980, the United States hockey team came out on top of one of the biggest upsets in sports when they beat the Soviets 4-3 at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.
The major turning point in the game was when USSR goalie Vladislav Tretiak gave up a rebound, allowing Mark Johnson to score and tie the game at 2 with one second left in the first period. Tretiak was pulled out of the game and since team USA was in awe of their opponents starting goalie according to team captain Mike Eruzione, the distraction was lifted. Aleksandr Maltsev scored for Russia in the second period but the lead did not last long. Johnson scored to tie the game and Eruzione scored the game winning goal.
The win was significant to Americans because of the political turmoil between the United States and the Soviet Union. The American team was completely composed of college students and the Soviets had players who played hockey for a living. Not only did their win inspire young hockey players to be the best they can be but it gave countless Americans a new outlook on life. Team USA went on to beat Finland 4-2 in the gold medal game.
Many of the players from team USA including Ken Morrow went on to have sucessful NHL careers. He helped the New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup in 1980.
Exactly 34 years later team USA lost in the bronze medal game in Sochi, Russia after losing to arch rival Canada in the semi-final round.
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Related links: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/joe_posnanski/02/22/miracle.on.ice/1.html (Sports Illustrated- 10 interesting facts about the game- written in 2010) http://espn.go.com/classic/s/miracle_ice_1980.html (ESPN article written 2014) http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/USA/winter/1980/ICH/ (USA roster) http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/countries/URS/winter/1980/ICH/ (USSR roster) http://1980ushockeyteam.weebly.com/box-score.html (box score)