Mike Eruzione joins Glen & Ray

Glen Macnow & Ray Didinger
June 29, 2020 - 12:43 pm
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For what it's worth, Miracle on Ice stays true to the real events of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team's incredible run for the gold medal, but Hollywood still added some flare for the dramatic when they could.

During Glen and Ray's Tell Us Your Story series, former captain of the 1980 Olympic Team Mike Eruzione joined the show to talk about the incredible run and also give the listeners perspective on the differences between the movie and what really happened.

 "I would have figured out to say 'Mike Eruzione, United States of America' way before we started skating for an hour and 15 minutes," said Eruzione in reference to the famous 'Who Do You Play For?" skating scene. "That was a little more Hollywood"

"We did skate, we did the scene with the suicides. Not everybody skated on the team. That night only 16 players dressed. A lot of times we only dressed three lines. For Herb, that was more conditioning and more ice time. When the game ended, we did those drills, we did the Herbies. The drill ended when Mark Johnson smacked his stick against the glass and Herb said 'if I hear another stick smash against the glass, you will skate until you die'. Well, no one said a word. Then he brought us to the locker room and said if we played this way tomorrow, we will skate again. We won 8-0 the next day."

Eruzione also talked about the infamous game against the Soviets. The Boston University grad scored the go-ahead goal with ten minutes remaining and, as the movie depicts it, the Soviets barrage Jim Craig with a flurry of shots in the finals minutes of the game. 

"The movie dramatizes the ending," explains Eruzione, "but when you watch the game, we kind of took control of it a little."

"The thing that amazed me, and I didn’t realize this, they only had seven or eight shots on goal in the last ten minutes and three of them were from outside the blue line. I didn't realize how well we played in the last ten minutes. It seemed like eternity. In the movie, it seems like we weren't on the ice. All it was was save Craig, save Craig."

Eruzione also touches upon being the captain amongst captains on the team, the East Coast/West Coast rivalries among the Lake Placid team, the impact of beating the Russians and playing for the Philadelphia Firebirds.

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