The American’s were all college players brought together with a prayer while the USSR specially selected and trained players years before the game.
The USSR’s Vladimir Krutov scored the game’s first goal on Craig James almost half way through the first period. William Schnider responded on behalf of team USA five minutes later.
Sergei Makarov gave the USSR the lead with three minutes left in the period. USSR goalie Vladislav Tretiak gave up a rebound, allowing Mark Johnson score and tie the game with two seconds before the first intermission.
Vladimir Myshkin took Tretiak’s place in the USSR net. According to team USA captain, Mike Eruzione, the Americans were in awe of Tretiak. When he was benched, distraction was lifted.
Two minutes into the second, Aleksandr Maltsev boosted the USSR to a 3-2 lead.
The third period was dominated by team USA. Mark Johnson scored at 8:39 to tie the game. Michael Eruzione scored the game winning goal at 10:00.
Team USA went on to win the gold medal game against Finland and the Soviot Union beat Sweeden for the bronze.
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.
To see Russia’s side of the story, check out ESPN’s 30 for 30; Of Miracles and Men
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