On this day (February 22nd) thirty years ago, Al Michaels yelled the goose bump chilling words “Do you believe in Miracles!” as the U.S. hockey team captured the imagination and hearts of all Americans by defeating the larger than life Soviet Union 4-3. With ten minutes remaining in a tied game the U.S. Captain Mike Eruzione dared his team and the rest of the nation to dream the impossible as he fired the puck past Soviet goalie Vladimir Myshkin.
You can argue that “The Miracle on Ice” was the most important game in the history all sports! Calling it a game might be doing it an injustice because it was more than just tah. At that point in time the two countries were at odds over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter was threatening to boycott the summer games in Moscow and the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The Soviet Union brought its 27-1-1 record over the last 4 Olympics to the arena to face the little known college all stars known as the USA National Team. It was suppose to be a beating so bad you’d have to avert your eyes and then something amazing happened. This group of kids brought the the nation to include the late Herb Brooks to tears, and convinced everyone that miracles do in fact exist.
Well I would love to talk about the Miracle on Ice all night long but I can’t. I can’t because the current U.S. National Team has forced me to talk about them. You see the current team just created miracle as well. Yesterday exactly one day before the 30th anniversary of Lake Placid the U.S. team defeated the heavily favored Canadian team for the first time in 50 years.
The youngest team in the Olympic Games had to face perhaps the both the best goalie (Martin Brodeur) and arguably the best player (Sidney Crosby) in the world. Yet they stood toe to toe with the two of them and the rest of the Canadian team in front of all of Canada and won! Behind the fantastic play of Ryan Miller in net and the veteran leadership of Brian Rafalski the U.S. shocked the world once again. The Olympics are still ongoing and the U.S. team will likely need to pull off a few more miracles if they plan to come home with gold…….but thanks to Lake Placid we can all believe!