Share This Episode
Our American Stories Lee Habeeb Logo

Mike Eruzione: The Making of a Miracle

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2023 3:01 am

Mike Eruzione: The Making of a Miracle

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2085 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 26, 2023 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Mike Eruzione—the captain of the 1980 U.S Men’s Olympic "Miracle on Ice" Hockey Team recounts the unlikely circumstances that led to his amazing career on ice, the legendary upset against the Soviets, his game-winning goal, and winning the gold medal.

Support the show (

See for privacy information.

Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb
Our American Stories
Lee Habeeb

What is Circle? At Circle, we're building a digital dollar that brings the power of the internet to money. Circle is a place where crypto meets stability, where local businesses meet global customers, and the US dollar meets USDC. Visit slash podcast.

Life as a gringo. Financial freedom usually means having enough savings, financial investments, and cash on hand to afford the kind of life we desire for ourselves and our families. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Learn more at

State Farm is a proud partner of the Michael Dura podcast network. Big news country fans Ram Trucks is coming back to the I heart country festival Saturday, May 13 in Austin, Texas, and this year, the highlight of the show will definitely be the we're all country guitar pull powered by Ram Trucks featuring performances by country music's biggest names. Like these stars, Ram owners have heart for being fearless, determined and bold. That's why it's time for you to be a Ram.

Check out what the 2023 Ram 1500 has to offer by visiting today. US team is depending a little bit too much now on Jim Craig. He's making too many good saves. And we continue here with our American stories. And our own Greg Hengler brings us this next story and it's one that's close to his heart. He grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and hockey is more than a pastime to folks living in that part of the country. It is the greatest American underdog sports story ever told how a team of college kids and unsigned amateurs under the tutelage of legendary coach and legendary taskmaster Herb Brooks beat the elite Soviet hockey team on their way to winning the gold medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Mike Eruzione served as the captain. The highlight of the games for Mike was scoring the game winning goal against the Soviet Union, the one you just heard.

Here's Mike Eruzione with his story. I played football, hockey and baseball. Baseball was my love. I probably played more baseball than any sport. And football was my passion in high school.

Hockey was something you just did in the wintertime. When I got out of high school, I was not recruited by any colleges. And I ended up going to a prep school year for one year in a school in Maine called Berwick Academy with the hopes actually of playing at the University of New Hampshire. And I wanted to play all three sports in college, but the hockey coach didn't think I was a Division I hockey player and kind of thought that UNH was going to accept me.

I had all my eggs in one basket. And as it turned out, I basically had no schools to go to. Well, my intention then was to go to Merrimack College. They offered me a hockey scholarship.

Merrimack was a Division II school at the time. Well, that summer before entering my freshman year, I didn't play hockey in the summertime. I played baseball and ended up getting a phone call from a friend of mine telling me that they needed some guys to play in a summer league game because a bunch of the guys went to the Cape for the weekend and if I was interested in playing.

So of course I said yes, and I went and played in the game. And as it turned out, the guy refereeing the game was a guy named Jack Parker. Jack Parker was the assistant coach at Boston University. And he came over to me after the game and asked me where I was going to school and I told him I was going to Merrimack College. And then he proceeded to tell me that they had a kid from Canada that decided not to come and they had a scholarship available. Would I be interested in going to Boston University?

And you've got to imagine my surprise. Boston University was coming off back-to-back national championships and considered one of the best teams in college hockey. Well, I told him I would accept the scholarship because I felt I could play at Boston University given the right opportunity.

So I arrived on campus at Boston University. Unfortunately, the head coach didn't know anything about me. And early on in the beginning of the season, I was basically playing on the fourth line.

And we'd only played a couple of games, but I wasn't playing that much. Well, as it turned out, at one point just before Christmas, Leon Abbott, the head coach, got fired and Jack Parker became the head coach. So Jack Parker becomes the head coach and I go from centering the fourth line to playing left wing on the second line and was fortunate and led the team in goal scored my freshman year. So I graduate from Boston University and at that point thought I could play in the National Hockey League and went to camp with the New York Rangers. The New York Rangers had my rights. I went to camp with the Rangers, had a pretty good camp, but John Ferguson, the general manager, talked to my advisor and told them they weren't going to sign any new players. They had enough players under contract and they sent me to Toledo, Ohio. And I went to Toledo, Ohio and played as an amateur. I was not under an NHL contract. I was paid every two weeks by the Toledo gold diggers in the International League. I actually ended up making, I think, my first year, 3,500 bucks.

Not a lot of money. Playing 80 games. But it was a start. Well, I had a very good year in Toledo. I finished second in our team in scoring and was voted the Outstanding Born American. All set and ready to sign with the New York Rangers. Well, John Ferguson, who was the general manager, he ended up getting fired. And Fred Sharrow now became the general manager of the New York Rangers.

And Fred Sharrow told my agent that they weren't signing any of John Ferguson's players and Mike was free to do what he wanted to do. Well, I thought, why don't I go back to Toledo, play as an amateur and have an opportunity to try out for the 80 Olympic team. It's funny, if John Ferguson never got fired, I probably would have signed with the New York Rangers. Don't know where my NHL career would have gone, but clearly I would not have been eligible to play on the Olympic team. Well, with that in mind, I go back to Toledo. I was fortunate that next year they gave me a little more money to play.

Still nowhere near what you could make playing in the NHL. But I went back there with the intention of the next year trying out for the Olympic team. And I got invited to the Olympic festival. Ended up playing on the Great Lakes team.

We ended up winning the gold medal at the Olympic festival. And I was fortunate to be elected captain of my team. Well, from the Olympic festival, I was selected by Herb as one of 26 players to make the 80 Olympic team. But only 20 were going to go to Lake Placid.

Well, fortunately for me, I was one of 20. I also had the honor of being elected captain of that team. Although I've said many times, we had a team of captains. Mark Johnson, Jack O'Callaghan, Bobby Souter, Billy Baker, Kenny Morrow, Mark Wells, Mark Pavlich, John Harrington. These guys were all captains of their colleges, our high school teams, as was Mike Ramsey, Neil Bronten, Eric Strobel, Steve Kristof, Phil Vercotta.

Great leaders, great players, great people. Well, our team traveled and trained for six months leading up to the Olympic games in Lake Placid, where we were part of something that was unique, something that nobody in the world thought we could accomplish, going to Lake Placid and winning an Olympic gold medal. Well, after the Olympic games, once we saw and realized what this moment was, I retired from hockey and decided I was going to maybe get into coaching and then found out how big this moment was and kind of gave me a new look on life and a lot of different opportunities in my life. I ended up being able to become a broadcaster working Olympic games as a commentator. Having been a commentator with the Olympic games, I was also able to do the New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils, and eventually even college hockey. Well, I got out of the broadcasting business when my kids started to get a little older. I have three children, a daughter, Leanne, a son Michael, and a son Paul.

Since then, the two of them, Michael and Leanne, have been married and have now beautiful five grandchildren, four boys, and a little girl. So, what started out in my high school days, living in the same town that I live in now, the opportunity to be in the Olympic team, the movie that came out called Miracle, the visibility that our team has received over the years led me to what, which is a book that I wrote, along with a gentleman by the name of Neil Bodette. And the book is The Making of a Miracle, the untold story of Olympic captain Mike Eruzione.

I wrote the book for one reason and one reason only. I want my grandkids to know there is more to my life than two weeks in Lake Placid. So, our journey as a team, which started in 1980 since our victory over Finland, and it's kind of funny for me because today people still think we only played one game and they forget about the Finland game. They just think we beat the Soviets and that was it. Our team in 1980 touched a lot of lives for a lot of different reasons.

For us, it was an opportunity to represent our country, compete in the Olympic games with the hope and dreams of winning the tournament, and as it turned out, we did. So, rather than get into my whole life talking to you here, I thought I'd give you just a little glimpse of some of the things that have happened to me in my life. Thank you. And the humility, you can hear it in his voice. Guy just doesn't really want to talk about himself. In the age of selfies and endless self-promotion, that is a rare thing. And by the way, that he was captain on a team of captains tells you everything about the guy's character. And lucky Boston University having a guy like this teaching and leading other men and women.

Michael Rizioni's story, in his own words, here on Our American Stories. Every week with Xfinity Flex is a free-filled week, so get ready to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, no strings attached. Cozy up with the family with Hudson and Rex. Explore documentaries like Planet Insect. Check out live concerts like Billie Eilish Live at Glastonbury or True Crime Stories in The First 48 and 60 Days In. Plus, dust off your dance moves with iHeart's Forever Disco Radio. Easily discover new free content each week across the best streaming apps.

Say free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. Looking forward to spring break, graduation, and girls' nights out? Get outfitted today at Lulu's. Lulu's is all about providing on-trend looks for any occasion. Whether it's a current trend or a closet staple, you can find it at Lulu's. And when you make an account with Lulu's, use code LULUSFAN20 to save 20% off your first order. That's Lulu's Fan 20. Place your order today at Lulu' Terms and conditions apply.

See Lulu' for details. Introducing Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn, a new scripted comedy podcast starring Jason Alexander about the real-life adventures of Palm Springs hotel owner Melvin Haber in the 1970s. Palm Springs was the place to be.

It was one big private oasis and I was thirsty. The stories are lifted from Haber's actual real-life memoirs and according to Mel, he hosted everybody. From A-listers to dirty filmmakers to con men and the mafia.

And yet, even Mel's hero, Frank Sinatra himself. From executive producers Lance Bass, Audio Up, and Sugar 23 comes the story of a man who helped define mid-1970s Palm Springs. Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn also stars Michael McKean, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Missy Pyle, Richard Kind, and many more. I've got half the desert staying here and I can't get out of the hole. How many crab cakes did that man order? Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn, coming soon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-26 04:27:52 / 2023-04-26 04:33:13 / 5

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime