Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Everlasting Hero

In six weeks, we’ll mark the 30th anniversary of the event that both Sports Illustrated and ESPN selected as the greatest sports moment of the 20th Century: The Miracle on Ice—Team USA’s upset of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic hockey seminfinals. Other than the late Herb Brooks, no one is more closely identified with that moment than Mike Eruzione, the former Terrier co-captain and All East forward who scored the goal “heard ‘round the world.”

The cover story of today’s Boston Globe Magazine retraces the unlikely chain of events that took Eruzione from a summer league game refereed by Jack Parker to a standout career at BU and ultimately Olympic heroics. And it examines Eruzione’s post-Olympic career as a broadcaster, spokesperson, fund raiser and motivational speaker. Mike points out, “My life isn’t defined by two weeks in Lake Placid, but Lake Placid gave me the opportunity to define my life.”

The Globe article was authored by Billy Baker, whose brother Jack Baker— a sparkplug forward for the Terriers from 1998 to 2002—was born Feb. 21, 1980, one day before the Miracle on Ice.

Very cool
BU Today provides a 360-degree view of Fenway Park during Friday's BU win against BC.
Looking back
Former Terrier defenseman and member of the 2007 Stanley Cup winning Anaheim Ducks Joe DiPenta scored his first goal of the season for AHL Portland in a 6-5 loss to Worcester.

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan commented on the decision to promote former BU co-captain John McCarthy from Worcester to the NHL club. He explained that it’s "a reward for him. The organization is very confident in his ability, and he's done a tremendous job in earning this opportunity."

Boomer Ewing scored a goal and an assist for the Toledo Walleye in a 6-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers, who received a goal and an assist from Ken Roche.

More 6-on-3
A few weeks ago we posted a link to Scott Weighart’s USCHO feature about the 6-on-3 power play BU employed in the waning minutes of the Terriers’ Red Hot Hockey matchup with Cornell on Nov. 28. BU didn’t score with the three-man advantage, but Nick Bonino did tie the score for BU after the first Big Red penalty expired. Coach Jack Parker had revealed that former Terrier assistant Ben Smith had suggested the tactic of pulling the goalie for an extra attacker when there already was a two-man advantage.

During the Jan. 2 game between BU and UMass with the Terriers leading, 6-3, Minuteman Coach Don Cahoon--a member of BU's 1971 and 1972 NCAA championship teams--tried the tactic, but with less success. He pulled goalie Paul Dainton after BU drew two penalties late in the third period. UMass failed to score and after one penalty ended, Eric Gryba cleared the puck 175 feet into the empty net.

Now, a New York Times article takes the story one-step further with, of course, another Terrier connection. Smith was coaching Team USA in the 2007 Deutschland Cup in Hannover Germany. The USA squad for the annual event is composed of American skaters playing Germany, but that season, Smith brought on a goalie from the North American minor leagues. Former Terrier MVP and All-American John Curry had begun his first pro season with the ECHL Las Vegas Outlaws when summoned by Smith.

Team USA was shutting out Germany, 3-0, in the second period when they took a pair of penalties 35 seconds apart. German coach Ewe Krupp pulled his goalie to create a 6-on-3 that eventually generated a goal. The scenario was repeated in the third period as Germany narrowed the scored to 3-2. Curry “had to stand on his head the rest of the way to preserve the win.”

Curry's strong showing in Germany led the Penguins to assign him to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes Barre/Scranton where he took over the starting job, winning 24 regular season games and 14 more in the post-season.

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