Striking Silver: The Untold Story of America's Forgotten Hockey Team

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Overview

For many people, the history of United States Olympic hockey begins and ends in 1980. Books have been written, movies have been made, and for many Americans it was a seminal moment in which they will never forget where they were when they heard the news, "The U.S. beat the Russians!" The gold medal miracle in 1980 has been documented as arguably the greatest American sporting moment of the 20th century. It is categorically the greatest moment in the history of American hockey. Less chronicled, but very much a ...
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Overview

For many people, the history of United States Olympic hockey begins and ends in 1980. Books have been written, movies have been made, and for many Americans it was a seminal moment in which they will never forget where they were when they heard the news, "The U.S. beat the Russians!" The gold medal miracle in 1980 has been documented as arguably the greatest American sporting moment of the 20th century. It is categorically the greatest moment in the history of American hockey. Less chronicled, but very much a part of United States Olympic hockey lore, is the gold medal victory of 1960 in Squaw Valley, California. Even today, people would be hard-pressed to forget that the Americans were runner-up silver medalists in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Since 1956 the number of men who have won an Olympic medal in hockey while playing with "USA" emblazoned across the chest of their sweaters is small. The names Eruzione, Craig, Johnson, and Morrow from the miracle team in 1980; McCartan, Christian, and Cleary from the gold medal team of 1960; as well as NHL stars Chelios, Hull, Roenick, and LeClair from 2002 may be more prominent in United States Olympic hockey history, but they must forever be mentioned along with one team, that for many reasons, seems to have been forgotten. Striking Silver tells the story of that forgotten team and its members which included players that were plucked from the jungles of Vietnam, schoolboy heroes, and college All-Americans: Ahearn, Bader, Boucha, Brown, Christiansen, Curran, Ftorek, Howe, Irving, McElmury, McGlynn, McIntosh, Mellor, Naslund, Olds, Regan, Sanders, Sarner, Sheehy, and Sears -- the Silver Medal-winning 1972 United States Olympic hockey team.

Thirty-four years later the accomplishment of the United States Olympic hockey team during the 1972 Winter Games has seemingly been one of American hockey's most well-kept secrets. The team's anonymity through the years most certainly was due to the extremely low expectations others had for them going into the Games. They were playing in a remote land, Sapporo, Japan. The time difference to parts of the United States was 10 hours. There was also, in large part, a lack of media coverage and exposure. Part of that was by the coach's design, trying to protect his team from pressure. Perhaps being sandwiched between the Cold War heroics of the 1960 team and the miraculous victory in 1980 made it easier for people to forget the silver medal-winning team of 1972? The glow of those golden moments blinded others into never letting the brilliant shine of unexpected silver line their collective memories. Or maybe it was just the times.

The country's collective conscience was preoccupied with the Vietnam War and the turmoil of world events while the feats of this other band of brothers, who were also representing their country in Asia, became overshadowed and unrecognized. Like the returning Vietnam veterans, it became easier to forget them than to remember. They became forgotten in the times, but are now remembered in Tom and Jerry Caraccioli's Striking Silver: The Untold Story of America´s Forgotten Hockey Team.

About the Authors
TOM CARACCIOLI and JERRY CARACCIOLI are identical-twin brothers who work in the NBC Universal/USA Network's Entertainment Division and CBS Television Network's Sports Division, respectively. Each is an executive in the Communications Department for his network and has been working in some capacity in sports communications for the past 18 years. They grew up in upstate Oswego, New York, where they played hockey in the minor hockey association, high school, and then at Oswego State University for a year.

Tom has worked for the Boston Red Sox, was the Director of Sports Information at Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts, and a managing editor at Professional Sports Publications in New York City before working at NBC/USA for the past five years, where he has worked on events such as the Masters, Ryder Cup, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and 2004 Olympic Summer Games.

Jerry has worked for the California Angels and Oakland Athletics, as well as Major League Baseball International as the Director of Media Relations for the Australian Baseball League. He has worked for CBS Sports for the past nine years on some of the biggest events in sports, including the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Japan, Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII, the NCAA Championship and Final Four, as well as the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and the Masters and PGA Championship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596700789
  • Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Pages: 234
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.94 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2006

    To Honor the Victors

    It is a great privilege for a hockey team to make the Olympics. To win a Silver medal is a tremendous honor. It was hard to understand that we actually had an American Olympic hockey team virtually go almost totally unnoticed. I wanted to read this book to find out WHY? The authors bring to life the team with brief biographies of the players. The team work that took total committment to the sport. The brilliance of a coach who 'KNEW' his team and what made them tick. How the guys worked together to make this a champion team despite personality differences, etc., brings realism to each page. The authors have given us verbally 'the game.' If you're a hockey fan you will feel the emotions of the players, and literally hear the stick hit the puck. This book is one that I intend to buy for every young person I know that plays hockey. Its inspirational and above all shows our young 'Real Heroes' who were unsung until the authors of this excellent book gave them The Honor Due.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2009

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