Miracle Monday: Dave Silk


We're shaking it up today, guys! Not only are we chatting about our first forward, we also happen to be chatting about our first Bostonian! He also happens to be the most under-appreciated of the Boston University foursome -- I know you've all heard of Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig and Jack O'Callahan, but the fourth Terrier is equally as important. So it's time you learn his name, folks.


FUN FACTS:

+ Dave was born into a family with quite an athletic legacy. His grandfather, Hal Janvrin, played baseball for the Boston Red Sox, and his cousin, Mike Milbury, played hockey for the Boston Bruins (and went on to coach and manage in the NHL as well). Dave played hockey at Boston University and won the NCAA championship in 1978, scoring a whole heck of a lot of goals in the process, and was selected by the New York Rangers in that year's NHL draft.

+ Herb kept Dave on the bubble of the Olympic team for months, and Dave's pre-Olympic season was full of constant criticism. Herb was always telling him he wasn't skilled enough, he wasn't fast enough, he wasn't spending enough time in the gym. Dave's dad had passed away when he was eight years old, so he'd developed a fondness for kind, fatherly coaches... and needless to say, Herb did not fit that mold and Dave did not like him (though he eventually became hugely appreciative of Herb's influence in his life). But Jack Parker, Dave's coach at BU, was that sort of father figure and argued Herb on Dave's behalf, saying, "I guarantee that if you have a one-goal lead and there are thirty seconds left in the game, he's one of the guys you're going to have on the ice." (Pro tip: keep this quote in mind.)

+ Dave scored two goals and three assists in the Olympic tournament, but his story goes far beyond just those numbers. Let's talk context for a second, shall we? Dave scored the first goal of the Olympics for the U.S., and was generally the most dominant American player on the ice in that game, winning face-offs and creating scoring opportunities. He then had a goal and an assist against Norway, and assisted on both of Mark Johnson's goals against the Soviet Union. Basically, three of his five points came in extremely critical situations. At the start of the Olympics, Dave was playing on the fourth line, but by the medal round, he'd so impressed Herb that he was playing on the first line.  Remember Jack Parker's quote about having Dave on the ice with a one-goal lead and 30 seconds left in the game? Well, I'd like you to take note of the waning seconds of the game against the Soviet Union, with the U.S. leading 4-3. Al Michaels' final call of the game was, and I quote: "Morrow, up to Silk! Five seconds left in the game! Do you believe in miracles?! Yes!" Dave Silk was indeed on the ice with a one-goal lead and 30 seconds left in the game, and was the final name mentioned before one of the most iconic calls in sports history. I can't even think about this without getting goosebumps.

+ Just days after the Olympics, Dave signed with the Rangers and played there for several seasons. He spent a total of seven seasons in the NHL before finishing out his career with five seasons playing professionally in Germany. (He was there when the Berlin Wall came down, which I think is pretty cool!) He struggled with alcohol consumption through college and by the time he got to the pros, it had become a serious problem. But he confronted it and got himself straightened out. #LikeABoss

+ After retiring as a player, Dave returned to Boston University as assistant coach for several years and then joined the management team of Bear Stearns Investments. But just because he doesn't play hockey anymore doesn't mean he's not still active. As a matter of fact, he now does triathlons and hopes to one day compete at the Ironman level. Casual.

Tell me this dude doesn't have an awesome story, I dare you! He also happens to have my favorite anecdote about this team. So please, do yourself a favor and watch this interview. (Shout-out to my favorite reporter again, this time for saving a newspaper clipping from 1980!)


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3 comments :

  1. Thanks for another heartwarming story...You truly know how to make these players come alive to those of us who know nothing about them.

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    1. Hooray, thank you! That's the goal! :D

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  2. Bobby Hanson, Bay Stater and a genuine Terrier. After graduating from BU he played pro in Europe (Switzerland I read somewhere). The the injuries piled up and he was forced into retirement. He now scouts for BU.

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