BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) – Saturday’s Olympic hockey match-up between Team USA and Russia had many thinking back 34 years ago to the “Miracle on Ice” game at Lake Placid.
So it was only fitting that a viewing party was held at the Herb Brooks Training Center at the Schwan’s Super Rink in Blaine, with dozens of hockey fans in attendance.
“You get to see the best players,” said fan Brian Maloney. “It’s fun to watch them play the Russians with all the history and stuff.”
Just as in Lake Placid, Team USA and Russia are once again facing off on one team’s home turf.
“I think the United States has a little bit of that aggressiveness too, but Russia’s still a very finesse team. Good skaters,” said fan Mike Christensen.
If fans ever doubted the outcome of the game they only needed to look around them to see the memories of the “Miracle,” and the coach that led the team to victory
“Most of us are aware of everything Herb Brooks did for USA hockey and the inspiration of the country,” said fan Justin Johnson.
The 1980 Winter Olympics allowed the world to see that USA hockey could beat the best. And the 2014 games bring validation that Team USA is no longer the underdog.
“It’s almost like you can build off of the excitement and inspiration that occurred in 1980, and all Americans can be proud of where we’re at as a hockey team and as a hockey culture,” Johnson said.
Two of the team’s members, Zach Parise and Justin Faulk, work with the trainers from the Herb Brooks Training Center.
Team USA beat Russia 3-2 in an exciting shootout finish.