Miracle on Ice: Where are the Heroes Now?
Do You Believe in Miracles?
Over 33 years ago, the United States Olympic Hockey team pulled off potentially the greatest moment in sports history. The USSR was a hockey powerhouse and the United States came out of nowhere and managed to beat them in game seven with just under 10 seconds left in Lake Placid.
There is no doubt that the USA was an underdog and I don’t think that you could have a bigger underdog than the team was that year. You see the underdogs during NCAA March Madness and the occasional baseball or basketball team that came out of nowhere unexpectedly but no team has ever been as surprising as the 1980 USA Hockey team.
In case you need a refresher, take a look at the video from the last minute of the game.
Numerous documentaries and films have been made since the defeat. But have you ever taken the chance to see where these American heroes are today? Some of them continued their hockey career after the 1980 Olympics but others retired and started a new life. None of these guys have turned into washed-up bums, they all have a unique story of success.
Either way, most of the players have returned to hockey in one way or another. Some returned to coach or own a professional hockey team, while others focused on enhancing the quality of youth hockey. Besides having hockey in their life, these guys have moved on to start their own families and even run their own businesses.
So enough with re-living the memory of the 1980 USA Hockey team, take a look and see the accomplishments these heroes have had since then. Do you believe in miracles? Because this hockey team definitely did!
Potentially the most important player on the ice, Jim Craig was the USA goalie for the 1980 Olympics. After the Olympics, he went on to play for the Atlanta Flames, Boston Bruins and Minnesota North Stars before retiring in 1984. In 1999, he was inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame. Craig is now the president of Gold Medal Strategies, which is a Boston area firm that focuses on promotions and marketing.
The company goal is to coach, educate and guide individuals and teams to operate at full potential and he has helped with over 300 organizations in the last 25 years. Quite commonly, Craig travels across the United States as a spokesman and motivational speaker for major companies.
After the Olympics, Ramsey went onto the NHL where he played for the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Redwings before retiring in 1987. When he finished his playing career, he ran a sporting goods store called Gold Medal Sports as he continued to play senior league hockey.
In 1997, he returned to the NHL where he served as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres. In 2000, he took a job with the Minnesota Wild where he stayed until 2010. Ramsey was inducted to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Schneider scored one of the USA’s four goals in game seven against the USSR. After the Olympics, he played for the United States Men’s Hockey Team in 1982 at the Hockey World Championship and then retired one year later. Schneider was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
After retiring professionally, he moved home to Minneapolis and worked as a sales executive for a semi-trailer company until 2001 when he decided to obtain a real estate license. Schneider is now the coordinator for the Turkey Men’s National Ice Hockey Team.
Christian’s entire family was born and raised with hockey. His father and uncle were members on the 1960 Olympic Hockey team that clinched a gold medal. Another Uncle was a member of the 1965 USA Men’s Olympic Hockey team where he got a silver medal. Until 2009, the family founded a company that made hockey sticks. One week after the 1980 Olympics, Christian signed with the Winnipeg Jets.
He currently holds the record for the fastest goal by any player by scoring seven seconds into his first game on the ice. He played for a total of four NHL teams which resulted in 1,099 games, 340 goals and 433 assists. After retiring, he became the coach for the Fargo-Moorhead Bears and was the general manager from 1997-2000 Christian was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Pavelich played for three NHL teams after the 1980 Olympics. Before officially retiring in 1992, he also played for teams in Germany and the United Kingdom. He currently resides in his home state of Minnesota where he coaches the Hibbing Bluejackets and works as a real estate developer.
John "Bah" Harrington
After the Olympics, Harrington returned to Switzerland for two years until returning to the United States to play full time on the USA National Team. He was a participant for the USA in the 1981, 1982 and 1983 World Championships, as well as a member of the 1984 Olympics team.
After retiring in 1984, he took an assistant coaching job at the University of Denver. In 1990, he moved back to Minnesota and became an assistant coach for St.Cloud University. From 1993-2008, Harrington was the head hockey coach at St.John’s University in Collegeville, MN. He stepped down from that position in 2008 and signed a contract with HC Asiago.
From 2009-2010, he was also the head coach for the Slovenia men’s national ice hockey team. Harrington has now moved onto the younger generations and has begun guiding youth hockey players in Minnesota with the Herb Brooks Foundation.
Morrow went onto play for the New York Islanders from 1980-1989 where he led the team to four Stanley Cup Championships. Since 1993, Morrow has served as the director of scouting for the Islanders. In 1995, Morrow was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. Then in 2011, Morrow was inducted into the New York Islanders Hall of Fame.
Broten played 1,099 games in 17 seasons with three different NHL teams before retiring in 1997. He also was the first American to score 100 points in a single season during 1995-1996. In 1995, he won a Stanley Cup Championship with the New Jersey Devils where he scored the game-winning goal in game four against the Detroit Redwings. This goal was also the first Cup-winning goal to be scored by an American player.
He is also one of the very few players that participated in a fight against hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky. Broten took a short break from retirement in 1999 and participated in the 1999 Ice Hockey World Championships where he played for the USA because no activa NHL players were available. He now lives in River Falls, WI with his wife and the two manage Sally Broten Horse Company where they raise and train reining horses.
The true hero of the 1980 Olympics was the team captain, Mike Eruzione. He was the one who scored the winning goal against the USSR. Immediately after the Olympics, he retired from professional hockey, even though the New York Rangers wanted to sign him.
He later became a TV broadcaster for the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, as well as a broadcaster for five Olympics. Eruzione works for the University of Boston as the director of Special Outreach and helps his local high school team in Winthrop, MA. He also owns the Omaha Lancers of the USHL.
Johnson was also an important player during the final game against the USSR in 1980 where he scored two of the USA’s four goals. He then went onto play for five different NHL teams before retiring in 1990. In 2004, Johnson was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
He coached the 2010 Women’s USA Olympic Hockey team which resulted in a silver medal. Johnson has been the head coach for the University of Wisconsin- Madison women’s ice hockey team since 2002. In 2006, he led the team to their first NCAA Championship and they went onto reclaim the title in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
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