The Miracle On Ice, By The Numbers

Feb 06, 2015 by Alex Castle

In 1980, the Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York.

The Soviet team was heavily favored, having won the gold at the last four Winter Games, dating back to 1964.

Since 1960, the Soviets were 27-1-1.

The Soviets had outscored the US 28-7 in head-to-head matchups over that period.

Three of the Soviet players eventually ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Only one of the U.S. players had been on the 1976 team.

In the four months leading up to the Winter Games, the U.S. team played 61 exhibitions against European and American teams, as coach Herb Brooks taught his players a more “European” style of play.

In the last of these exhibitions, the Soviets beat the U.S. 10-3.

8,500 people packed into Olympic Field House for the game.

With the game tied 3-3 in the third period, the Americans scored the winning goal with ten minutes remaining.

The U.S. played one more game after defeating the USSR, beating Finland to win the gold medal.

These numbers only tell part of the story of the game that has long been known as The Miracle On Ice. ESPN’s outstanding documentary series 30 For 30 tells the rest when the special two-hour installment “Of Miracles And Men” premieres on February 8 at 6pm.

“Do you believe in miracles?”

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