Eruzione Says U.S. Teams Can Win Olympic Gold

Monday, February 17, 2014
By Cary Shuman

Winthrop’s Mike Eruzione, who led the U.S. men’s hockey team to its last Olympic gold medal in 1980, says that the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams are strong contenders for gold medals in the Winter Games in Sochi.

The captain of the Miracle on Ice team also predicted that the best hockey game to watch in the Olympics will be the expected gold medal showdown between the U.S.A. and Canada women’s hockey teams.

Eruzione has been on a whirlwind speaking tour, appearing on national shows such as the “CBS This Morning” Sunday and speaking at a Comcast event in Boston this week. Ever since scoring the goal that beat the Soviet Union (and led to a victory over Finland in the gold medal game), the Winthrop hockey hero has been in demand as a motivational speaker and celebrity guest.

Sports Illustrated magazine selected Eruzione’s game-winning goal and the U.S.A. team’s victory in the Winter Games at Lake Placid as the Greatest Sports Moment of the 20th century.

The former WHS and Boston University hockey star said the U.S. men’s hockey team, consisting of National Hockey players, is “very good and I’ll be very surprised if they don’t win a medal. It’s hard to win a gold medal, so I’m not going to put any pressure on them, but this team clearly has the makeup to win the whole thing. I like their chances. It’s going to be a great tournament. The big question is: Can the U.S. and Canadian teams adjust to the bigger ice surface?”

Eruzione noted that U.S.A. Olympic men’s teams have won two silver medals since 1980. “We won silvers in Vancouver (2010) and Salt Lake City (2002), so why can’t this team be the one to win it?”

Eruzione expects the U.S.A. and Canada women’s hockey teams to meet again (Canada won 3-2 Wednesday) in the gold medal game.

“Unless something crazy happens, they’ll be playing the Canadians again for the gold medal and it should be an unbelievable hockey game,” said Eruzione. “Anybody who likes to watch hockey – you have to watch U.S.A.-Canada. It’s going to be a great battle. We have 10 Massachusetts girls on that team.”

Though he has been out of town for his speaking engagements, Eruzione said he has been following the successful seasons of the Winthrop High boys and girls hockey teams who have both qualified for the State Tournament. He credited the respective coaches, Dale Dunbar and Anthony Martucci, for their leadership of the teams.

“There’s not a coach in the Northeastern Conference better than Dale,” said Eruzione. “Look at what he does with some of the talent we have. We’re not a super gifted team but they play hard, they play smart, and they play disciplined. I thought last year was the best coaching job Dale has ever done and he’s clearly following that up again because the kids really have fun playing hockey for him and he’s just a great coach.”

“You look at what Butch Martucci has done coaching his girls team year in and year out, they’re right in the running for the title,” said Eruzione. “We’re fortunate to have great coaches and players who play hard for their coaches.”, whose WHS team could win an NEC title, 1980. “We won silvers in Vancouver (2010) and Salt Lake City (2002), so why can’t this team be the one to win it?”

Eruzione expects the U.S.A. and Canada women’s hockey teams to meet again (Canada won 3-2 Wednesday) in the gold medal game.

“Unless something crazy happens, they’ll be playing the Canadians again for the gold medal and it should be an unbelievable hockey game,” said Eruzione. “Anybody who likes to watch hockey – you have to watch U.S.A.-Canada. It’s going to be a great battle. We have 10 Massachusetts girls on that team.”

Though he has been out of town for his speaking engagements, Eruzione said he has been following the successful seasons of the Winthrop High boys and girls hockey teams who have both qualified for the State Tournament. He credited the respective coaches, Dale Dunbar and Anthony Martucci, for their leadership of the teams.

“There’s not a coach in the Northeastern Conference better than Dale,” said Eruzione. “Look at what he does with some of the talent we have. We’re not a super gifted team but they play hard, they play smart, and they play disciplined. I thought last year was the best coaching job Dale has ever done and he’s clearly following that up again because the kids really have fun playing hockey for him and he’s just a great coach.”

“You look at what Butch Martucci has done coaching his girls team year in and year out, they’re right in the running for the title,” said Eruzione. “We’re fortunate to have great coaches and players who play hard for their coaches.”

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