The Teams Behind The Miracle On Ice

877 words - 4 pages

The Teams Behind the Miracle on Ice
The International Ice Hockey Federation named the game one of the last century’s number-one ice hockey stories. Sports Illustrated named it one of the top sports moments of the 20th century. The 1980 Olympic medal round game between the United States National Team and the Soviet Union National Team was dubbed the “Miracle on Ice”. The two teams competing could not have been more different. The US national team was made up of young amateur and collegiate players, boasting a mediocre international record, and led by a college coach that had never played professional hockey. The Soviet team, on the other hand, boasted some of the era’s most legendary ...view middle of the document...

The dynamic between players was also vastly different on the two teams. Nine out of the twenty American players played at the University of Minnesota, while four others played at Boston University. These two collegiate teams were bitter rivals. The rivalry spilled over onto the Olympic team, affecting the team’s ability to play together. On the contrary, the Russian team played and lived together year round. Most of them were active duty military in the Soviet Army and they all lived in barracks together 10 or 11 months out of the year. They were the most dominate team of the time.
The history of each team and the path each took to reach the Olympics was also very different. The US National team played 61 exhibition games leading up to the Olympic games. Most of these games were played against foreign opponents, for coach Herb Brooks was trying to adapt the way Europeans played hockey. Over 61 games, the US team went 42-16-3. Their last exhibition game was against the USSR national team, which the Americans lost 10-3. The Soviets were the dominate team of the time, as they went 5-3-1 against NHL teams, including a 6-0 victory over the NHL All Star team. They also dominated the international circuit, winning the 1979 World Championship and the 1979 Challenge Cup. The Soviets’ domination continued into Olympic group play, as they went undefeated in their first 5 games and outscored their opponents 51-11, while the Americans struggled through their group. The Americans went 4-0-1 in...

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