On February 22, 1980, the "Miracle on Ice" took place during a medal-round men's ice hockey game between the United States and Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The U.S. team, made up of amateur and collegiate players and led by coach Herb Brooks (inset), defeated the Soviet team, which was considered the best hockey team in the world, in what is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
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The young American team faced whom many considered to be the best hockey goaltender in the world at the time, Vladislav Tretiak.
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The Soviets were captained by legendary winger Boris Mikhailov, whom Herb Brooks told his players resembled Stan Laurel of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy, in the hopes of removing any fear of facing him.
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Vladimir Krutov deflected a slap shot by Aleksei Kasatonov past U.S. netminder Jim Craig to give the Soviets a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period.
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Buzz Schneider (left) scored for the United States to tie the game less than five minutes later.
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After the Soviets regained the lead 2-1 on a goal by Sergei Makarov, U.S. goalie Jim Craig stepped up his play between the pipes. Craig faced 18 shots in the first period alone.
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In the final seconds of the first period, Dave Christian fired a slap shot on Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak from 100 feet away. Tretiak saved the shot but misplayed the rebound, which was picked up by Mark Johnson who scored his first of two goals in the game.
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Soviet defensemen Vasilij Pervuchin and Zinetula Biljaletdinov hadn't noticed Mark Johnson move in for the rebound as they watched the clock tick off the last few seconds. Johnson fired the puck past a diving Tretiak to tie the score 2-2 with one second left in the period. Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov replaced Tretiak with backup goaltender Vladimir Myshkin for the start of the second period, a move which shocked players on both teams.
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The Soviets dominated play in the second period, outshooting the Americans 12-2, but scored only once, on a power play goal by Aleksandr Maltsev.
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With the game tied 3-3 on a Mark Johnson power play goal, the U.S. struck again just 1:21 later, at the halfway point of the third period, on a shot by captain Mike Eurzione.
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Eruzione, whose last name means "eruption" in Italian, gave the U.S. team it's first lead against the Soviets with exactly ten minutes left to play.
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The Russians attacked furiously following Eruzione's goal, but Jim Craig held strong. In the end, Craig stopped 36 of 39 shots on goal as the U.S. defeated the Soviets 4-3.
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Sportscaster Al Michaels, who was calling the game on ABC, picked up on the countdown in his broadcast, and delivered his famous call as time ran out: "Do you believe in miracles? YES!"
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The Field House was packed to capacity (8,500) as many in the home crowd waved American flags throughout the game.
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Players from both teams meet at center ice to shake hands following the game.
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Many forget that the U.S. still needed to defeat Finland to secure the gold medal, and came back from a 2-1 third period deficit to win 4-2, thus finalizing "the Miracle" as such.
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