Super in Sochi
It didn’t quite have the importance and incredibility of 1980’s “Miracle on Ice,” but the USA victory over Russia in the Sochi Winter Olympics Saturday was a very entertaining game, especially the heroics of Warroad native T.J. Oshie, who scored on four of six shots in an overtime shootout to beat the Russians.
Back in 1980, USA put a team of real amateurs on the ice against a Soviet team that was every bit as professional as any NHL?team, and better than most. The Cold War was still frigid, the Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan and tension was high. The stunning victory USA?coach Herb Brooks engineered was truly miraculous.
Today, U.S. Olympic hockey teams are drafted from the ranks of the NHL. The Soviet Union has dissolved, the U.S. is now trying to disentangle itself from Afghanistan and the Olympic Games, while still heavily flavored by international politics, are focused more on the sports.
The USA-Russia hockey game was a big thrill in these games, and the prospect of a rematch in the medal rounds is a prospect that is fun to imagine.