Breaking: 1980 ‘Miracle On Ice’ Olympic Hockey Star Found Dead
The 1980 win by the United States Olympic hockey team over the Iron Curtain’s Communist Army was a pivotal turning point in my life … and I wasn’t even born yet.
The way my dad tells it, the win came at a time where America was down on it’s luck and things were looking bleak. Jimmy Carter was nearly done destroying the nation with gas rationing and American moral was down.
Then something magical happened, first a bunch of farm boys from college beat the CCCP Army’s hockey team. This was no ordinary team, it was the pride and joy of the Soviet Union the team was made up of the best players in all of the communist territories under the control of Russia.
Soon Reagan came into office and the United States was back on track and the super power that we were destined to be. As for me, I am told this game had a lot to do with why I had the opportunity to play hockey growing up.
Normally we do not cover stories like this, but because this man was part of something that helps to define the American experience, I think it’s important to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments of the fallen hero.
Fox News is reporting:
‘Mark Pavelich, a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team who spent the bulk of his seven-year NHL career with the Rangers, was found dead at a treatment facility in central Minnesota.
The 63-year-old died at Eagle’s Healing Nest, where he was receiving mental health treatment, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Pavelich was under civil commitment after assaulting his neighbor with a four-foot metal pipe in August 2019.
Police were called to Pavelich’s residence around 8:30 a.m. Thursday after a reported death. No one had seen Pavelich since 8 p.m. the previous day.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
Pavelich starred for the U.S. squad during the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., as part of “The Coneheads” line, collecting an assist on Mike Eruzione’s goal that stood as the winner in a semifinal round upset over the vaunted Soviet Union team. The Americans went on to beat Finland for the gold medal.
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich,” USA Hockey tweeted. “We extend our deepest condolences to Mark’s family & friends. “Forever a part of hockey history.”
We are saddened to hear about the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich. We extend our deepest condolences to Mark’s family & friends.
Forever a part of hockey history. pic.twitter.com/xS04DMGtLd
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) March 5, 2021
The 5-foot-7 Minnesota native went on to a seven-year NHL career that began in 1981 with the Rangers and his former Olympic coaches, Herb Brooks and Craig Patrick. On a team with big personalities like Ron Duguay and Ron Greschner, the quiet Pavelich was hard-nosed and skilled.
Pavelich centered Duguay in the winger’s lone 40-goal season, which Duguay told The Post was “much of his doing,” and also recorded 133 goals in 341 regular season games over five seasons with the Blueshirts.’
I guess we all have to go sometime, his family can rest a little easier knowing that Mark didn’t waste his time on Earth and will be remembered forever as a part of American history. Thanks for helping Make America Great Again, Mr. Pavelich.
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