Do You Believe in Miracles?

“Great moments are born from great opportunities. And that’s what you have here, tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight…Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.”

Ah, the familiar words from Herb Brooks, the 1980 USA Men’s Hockey coach, who led the team to glory over the Soviet Union and later Finland. Thirty-four years ago, his team pulled off a miracle against a far superior team. Hmmm could this happen in 2014?

While the rest of the world voices their security concerns over the location of the Olympics and while Putin hopes to show Russia is a safe and modern state, Coach Dan Bylsma and the 2014 USA Men’s Hockey team aims to take home the gold against a far more skillful Canada team.

Canada brought home the gold at the 2012 Vancouver Winter Games. Could America be next, pulling off another "Miracle on Ice"?

Canada brought home the gold at the 2012 Vancouver Winter Games. Could America be next, pulling off another “Miracle on Ice”?

Star forwards Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild), and Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers) will lead the USA team backed by veteran goaltender Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres. Left Winger, Max Pacioretty of New Canaan, CT will also provide steady hands for the U.S. squad.

On the other side, Canada is an all-star team. Forwards Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), Rick Nash (New York Rangers), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks), and Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning) lead the charge, but the list just goes on and on. Canada looks to reclaim the gold medal this year.

It should be noted that if the U.S. does claim the gold medal this year it won’t be exactly the same as when they won in 1980. Olympic hockey will never have the same allure as it once had, as a couple of years after the United States’ victory professional hockey players were permitted to compete in the games. The Olympics were no longer college kids from Boston and Minneapolis, but instead paid professionals.

But nevertheless, Olympic hockey is still special. Perhaps the Canadian poet, Al Purdy sums up hockey’s appeal: “Hockey is the perfect combination of ballet and murder.”

The U.S. Hockey team will begin the 2014 Sochi Olympics against Slovakia on Thursday, February 13th. They then will battle Russia and Slovenia before the Qualification Round. All U.S. hockey fans hope that the gold medal game will again come down to the U.S. versus Canada. Without a question, the U.S. wants its revenge after last year’s heartbreaker.

If history has told us anything it is that the best team doesn’t always win. On the coast of the Black Sea anything can happen, right? As NBC anchor, Al Michaels, asked us thirty-four years ago, “Do you believe in miracles?”

— Ben Decatur, Staff Writer

Posted by on February 12, 2014. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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