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Mike Eruzione: Wikis

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Born October 25, 1954 (1954-10-25) (age 55),
Winthrop, Massachusetts
Height
Weight
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Toledo Goaldiggers
Philadelphia Firebirds
Ntl. team  United States
WHA Draft 28th overall, 1974
New England Whalers
Playing career 1977 – 1980
Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Gold 1980 Lake Placid Team

Michael "Ritz" Eruzione (pronounced /ɨˌruːziˈoʊni/; born October 25, 1954) is an Italian-American former ice hockey player who was the captain of the 1980 Winter Olympics United States national team that defeated the Soviet Union in the famous Miracle on Ice game.

Contents

Biography

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Playing career

Eruzione was born in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He learned hockey playing for Youth Hockey of Winthrop as part of the GBYHL (Greater Boston Youth Hockey League). He graduated from Winthrop Senior High School in 1972, where he was captain of the varsity hockey team during his senior year. He then spent a year at Berwick Academy to fine tune his hockey skills in a New England Prep environment. After attending Berwick, Eruzione starred for Boston University, averaging over twenty goals a season for four years. Eruzione also played for Team USA at the 1975 and 1976 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments. He then moved on to the Toledo Goaldiggers of the International Hockey League, winning the rookie of the year award in 1978 and leading the team to the Turner Cup championship in that year. After his second year in Toledo, Eruzione, who played forward, was named the captain of the 1980 Olympic hockey team, scoring the winning goal against the Soviets and helping the Americans win the gold medal against Finland. Eruzione's winning goal has become one of the most played highlights in American sports, and was voted the greatest highlight of all time by ESPN viewers in March 2008.

Post playing career

Eruzione retired from competition after the Olympics, despite contract offers from the New York Rangers, stating that he'd reached the pinnacle of achievement already. Eruzione then became a television broadcaster, grabbing the microphone at Rangers and New Jersey Devils games and for the NHL on USA Network, and going on to comment at five Olympic Games, working for both ABC and CBS.

Eruzione returned to his alma mater of Boston University to be the assistant coach for the hockey team for three seasons, and where he currently works as Director of Special Outreach. He is a member of several halls of fame. Currently, he is a part-owner of the USHL Omaha Lancers franchise, which is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and a motivational speaker. He also helps the Winthrop High School ice hockey team during the winter.

On January 19, 2007, Eruzione appeared on the new version of the game show I've Got a Secret. His secret was that he was the captain of the 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic hockey team. He failed to stump the panel when former major leaguer Billy Bean guessed it.

In popular culture

In the 1981 made-for-TV movie about the 1980 U.S. Hockey team called Miracle on Ice, Eruzione is portrayed by actor Andrew Stevens.

In the 2004 Disney film entitled Miracle, he is portrayed by actor Patrick O'Brien Demsey. Demsey had played hockey at Fitchburg State College, but gave it up because of injuries and a desire to pursue an acting career.[1] He saw the call for auditions the day before the auditions closed and won the part just days after his 24th birthday.[1] To prepare for the role, he trained with the team Mike Eruzione coached at the time.[1]

External links

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Midori Ito
Final Winter Olympic Torchbearer
with the 1980 USA Men's Ice Hockey Team

Salt Lake City 2002
Succeeded by
Stefania Belmondo

References

  1. ^ a b c Patrick O'Brien Demsey's biography at the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1379739

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