Miracle Monday: USA vs. Norway

Miracle Monday

This is my first Miracle Monday written from outside of Colorado, and it feels kind of strange... but hello from New York! And this is also the final Miracle Monday of 2014. What? When did that happen? How is this possible?

Anyway, moving onto the game at hand. The U.S. played Norway during the exhibition season prior to the Olympics, and that game is much more famous than this one, as it was the setting for the infamous "Herbies in the dark" incident. This game, however, held significantly more weight, and luckily the better team came out on top!

Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Winter Games Miracle on Ice USA vs. Norway


What: USA 5 - 1 NOR

Who: Mike Eruzione
         Mark Johnson (assists: Dave Christian, Rob McClanahan)
         Dave Silk (assists: Mark Pavelich, Ken Morrow)
         Mark Wells (assists: Dave Silk, Phil Verchota)
         Ken Morrow (assists: Rob McClanahan, Eric Strobel)


+ This game was played in the old Olympic arena, which was originally built for the 1932 Olympics and only held 1,200 people. The tournament was split between this arena and the new one, built for the 1980 Olympics, and each team had to play at least one game in each arena to avoid giving anyone an unfair "home ice" advantage. So even though the U.S. was the home team and by now was drawing some serious interest, it had to take its turn playing in this dinky little arena. Needless to say, it was a packed house.

+ After the U.S. did so unexpectedly well in the first two games, there was some concern that this game would be a bit of a let-down; Norway was a team that the U.S. was expected to beat, so people were worried that it wouldn't take this game seriously enough. And honestly, it looked that way at the beginning. The first period was ATROCIOUS. Between the two teams there were five penalties in the first five minutes (seriously, it was absurd), and at the end of the period Norway led 1-0.

+ Mike Eruzione scored the first U.S. goal during a power play in the second period. This was his second goal of the Olympics; he also scored the first goal against Czechoslovakia. He also scored the first goal against the Soviets in the exhibition game at Madison Square Garden. So, while he's known for a goal that won a rather important game, it's worth noting that he was often the one to kickstart the team's offense.

+ Al Michaels and Ken Dryden devote a good chunk of air time to talking about how well Mark Pavelich had played thus far. He'd set up Bill Baker's goal against Sweden, scored a goal and an assist against Czechoslovakia, and assisted Dave Silk's goal in this game. Al and Ken mention how he's been all over the ice and playing absolutely excellently, and in the previous game Ken says how he hadn't been drafted by the NHL but "that shouldn't last too long now." They pretty much call him out as a future star -- even after acknowledging his small size! -- and he does indeed go on to tear it up in the NHL. What a rockstar. :)

+ This is Ken Morrow's only goal of the Olympics, and it's fabulous. In general, Ken's slap shot was really slow, and this one was no different. It wasn't a fast shot, and the Norwegian goalie had a clear look at it... but it was so slow that he figured one of his defenders would deflect it before it got to him, but none of them did, so he didn't move for it in time. The defenders, of course, figured their goalie had this shot well in hand, so they didn't bother getting in the way. Oops? :P As much as people joked about Ken's slow shot, he was also known for scoring big goals in key situations -- including a pretty legendary overtime game-winner in the 1984 Stanley Cup Playoffs to give his Islanders a 3-2 series victory over the Rangers. In a nutshell: Ken Morrow got stuff done.


...Nowhere. The only video I've been able to find has been blocked on YouTube due to copyright. So, womppp. There are a handful of seconds of footage at the beginning of this clip HERE, but that's all I've got. #struggles

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