Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I believe in miracles

I remember coming home that night 25 years ago today and catching the final seconds of the US Olympic Hockey Team's Miracle on Ice -- the 4-3 victory over the USSR team that had waxed NHL all-stars less than one year before. For some unknown reason my parents wanted to see a movie that night and dragged me along, so I missed Mark Johnson's ridiculous goal that tied the game at the end of the first period, I missed Mike Eruzione's soft slapper that confounded Vladimir Myshkin for the winning margin. I've since seen the broadcast (or that part that ABC aired -- it was on tape delay!) and wondered how in the heck the Americans won.

I also remember the everyotherday updates from PaMonk leading up to that game -- if the hockey broadcast was too late, I had to go to sleep before learning the result. No biggie for the beatings of Norway or Rumania, but more momentous for the nailbiter against Sweden and the big match with (and complete beatdown of) the Czechs.

That Sunday we watched live as the hockey team stank up the rink for 40 minutes before coming alive and whacking the Finns to clinch the gold medal. Beautiful! And great to watch all over again.

Cherry on top: 1980 was the first of the Islanders' four Stanley Cup titles. They were helped by the addition of a rookie defenseman late in the season, Ken Morrow. Morrow's delay in joining the team? He was on the ice for the US at the end of the Miracle at Lake Placid.

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