On the fortieth anniversary of the historic "Miracle on Ice," Mike Eruzione—the captain of the 1980 U.S Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, who scored the winning goal—recounts his amazing career on ice, the legendary upset against the Soviets, and winning the gold medal.
It is the greatest American underdog sports story ever told: how a team of college kids and unsigned amateurs, under the tutelage of legendary coach—and legendary taskmaster—Herb Brooks, beat the elite Soviet hockey team on their way to winning the gold medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. No one believed the scrappy Americans had a real shot at winning. Despite being undefeated, the U.S.—the youngest team in the competition—were facing off against the four-time defending gold medalist Russians. But the Americans’ irrepressible optimism, skill, and fearless attitude helped them outplay the seasoned Soviet team and deliver their iconic win.
As captain, Mike Eruzione led his team on the ice on that Friday, February 22, 1980. But beating the U.S.S.R was only one of the numerous challenges Mike has faced in his life. In this inspiring memoir, he recounts the obstacles he has overcome, from his blue-collar upbringing in Winthrop, Massachusetts, to his battle to make the Boston University squad; his challenges in the minor leagues and international tournaments to his selection to the U.S. team and their run for gold. He also talks about the aftermath of that stupendous win that inspired and united the nation at a time of crisis in its history.
Eruzione has lived a hockey life full of unexpected twists and surprising turns. Al Michaels’ famous call in 1980—"do you believe in miracles? YES!"—could have been about Mike himself. Filled with vivid portraits—from his hard-working, irrepressible father to the irascible Herb Brooks to the Russian hall of famers Tretiak, Kharlamov, Makarov, and Fetisov—this lively, fascinating look back is destined to become a sports classic and is a must for hockey fans, especially those who witnessed that miraculous day.
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About the Author
Mike Eruzione is the director of special outreach at his alma mater, Boston University. He has been a television commentator, a motivational speaker, and a hockey coach. He lives in Winthrop, Massachusetts.
Neal Boudette, is a graduate of Boston University and a reporter for the New York Times. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Table of Contents
Foreword Al Michaels ix
Chapter 1 February 22, 1980 1
Chapter 2 Three Floors, No Doors 5
Chapter 3 "There's No Spot for You" 15
Chapter 4 A Chance Encounter 27
Chapter 4 The Brawl in Denver 43
Chapter 6 East Versus West 59
Chapter 7 "Mr. Brooks Is My Father" 73
Chapter 8 "We're a Family Now" 93
Chapter 9 Spit in the Tiger's Eye 119
Chapter 10 "I Just Have a Feeling" 137
Chapter 11 Magic 157
Chapter 12 One Moment in Time 171
Chapter 13 "Hello, Mr. President" 193
Chapter 14 Possibilities I Never Imagined 213
Chapter 15 "Three Inches to the Left" 227
Chapter 16 A Bond That Can Never Be Broken 241
Chapter 17 How Close to Home 257
The Miracle story is the greatest hockey story ever told for sure, perhaps even the most significant sports story in American history. The Making of a Miracle goes behind the scenes and tells of the chance events that led to the moment of the winning goal. The author brings to life Eruzione's family, the camaraderie among the team members and the cunning of the coach. Classic moments like the night before the game against the Russian team hanging out at the campground drinking Miller Lite. I cried and laughed. You will too. Great read for sports fans or those who love a story of truth, chance, inspiration, grit and team work.
The Making of a Miracle is a heart-warming story of just how far blue-collar grit, determination and a little bit of luck can take you. In addition to the thrilling insider account of the greatest sports upset in American history, the story of Mike Eruzione’s unusual upbringing in a loving extended family evokes laughs as well as tears. A great read!
As much as I was looking forward to this book, I was saddened to see Mr Eruzione and some members of the team politicize the monumental 40th year anniversary. I am returning this book. Everything that team stood for, in unity and sacrifice and grit, was decimated in a few opportunistic minutes in Las Vegas. Regardless of affiliation, we do need unification the same way we did in 1980. Unfortunately the choices made 40 years later did not help. Disappointing.
First of all, if you love hockey or if you are old enough to remeber the 1980 Olympics, you will love this book. It's a well written auto biography of this small town ahtlete who his hard work and lucky breaks makes it to the US hockey team. The heart of the book, the time when the team comes together till the final gold medal game, is hard to put down. You can still feel the intensity and the joy of when they defeated the Soviets! Eruzione describes the team, the coach , the personalities, even his home life growing up with much insight. HE repeats himself a few times on some subjects but overall a great read for those who will want to experience this magical time and those who want to know what it was all about.