Legendary NHL coach recalls ‘Miracle On Ice’ on 40th anniversary, impact on generations

Saturday, on the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle On Ice,” Scotty Bowman, who holds the record for most wins in NHL history, met with WINK News Reporter Melinda Lee at Hertz Arena in Estero to recall witnessing the U.S. Olympic hockey team take down the Soviet Union, and the huge impact that game had on our nation.

“I think it had the biggest effect on U.S. hockey,” Bowman said.

Bowman was in Lake Placid, New York in 1980 when Mike “Rizzo” Eruzione scored the game-winning goal that elevated Team USA to a 4-3 win over the heavily Favorited USSR, teaching the nation to believe in miracles.

MORE: Final moments of medal game between USA and USSR (YouTube)

“I never thought that it could even be close, let alone win like they did,” Bowman said. “I don’t know another team at any sport that could have had a big upset like they did.”

Florida Everblades general manager Craig Brush was not in New York during the “miracle,” but, like many who were alive during the momentous event, he can still remember how it felt to hear the news, and says those feelings continue to resonate 40 years later.

“Obviously, I’ve seen the game over and over again, and it’s always inspirational,” Brush said.

Both Brush and Bowman agree that the “miracle” win brought hockey to the forefront and attracted more fans and athletes to the sport.

“It really started the wave of U.S. born hockey players because, up to that point, great athletes in the U.S. were in other sports,” Bowman said. “It’s had a big effect on the NHL because, a lot of kids, it gathered their attention, and they started playing youth hockey.”

Young athletes continue to look up to the team that taught our nation to believe in miracles, and it continues to inspire new generations.

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