That phrase for people in their 40’s and older should immediately connote one glorious moment in sports history: February 22, 1980. On that date the U.S. Olympic Hockey team achieved the upset of the 20th century by defeating the Soviet Union team 4-3 on a third period goal by Captain Mike Eruzione, at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York
Two days later, the young American team, composed exclusively of amateur players, earned the Gold Medal with a 4-2 victory over Finland.
To put things in perspective, it was the end of an epoch for the highly favored, four-time defending, gold-medal winning, Soviet team. Their group of professionals had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament between 1954 and 1980, and had never failed to medal in any International Ice Hockey Federation tournament.
So epic was the American victory that, not one, but two movies were later produced: a television sports docu-drama in 1981, called “Miracle on Ice;” and, in 2004, a full length feature film, entitled, “Miracle.”
But nothing beats watching the “real” thing. Watch the last minute here.
P.S. Although I had the opportunity to attend the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980 with my company, Stanley Tools, I was not there for this particular historic moment. A year or two later, however, at a Stanley national trade show reception–Tabellione met Eruzione.