It’s been a little over thirty years since the Americans defeated the Soviets and cemented their place in Olympic history with a gold medal in hockey, but what the players didn't know then was the lasting affect the 4-2 miracle on ice would have on America.
Casper Oilers Defenseman Matthew Floyd says, "Get that buzz and it's really nice to see because normally you don't as much publicity with hockey as you do with anything else."
Although hockey is considered a winter sport, it was first introduced in the Summer Olympics in 1920 and was then transferred to the Winter Olympic Games 4 years later. It’s been a part of the Olympics ever since. The International Olympic Committee only allowed amateurs to compete in the Olympic Games until 1988, but it took the National Hockey League another ten years to allow its players into the games.
Casper Oilers Head Coach Austin lee says, "With them using
professionals in the Olympic Hockey it promotes the game. We have the best players in the game showcasing their talent on the same teams, same place, and the same time and anytime you can get that together for a sport, overall it's a great thing."
Some rules that apply in the National Hockey League don’t apply in the Olympics and vice versa, but the overall objective of getting the puck in the net is the same and the man protecting that net still seems to be one of the toughest positions.
Casper Oilers Wing Ian Brooks says, "One save can either change the game in your favor or one save can lose the game for you guys," while Floyd agrees. "You’re that one man there. There's nobody else that’s going to be able to cover that spot. You're that one man."
Hockey’s one of only a few American professional sports where you can represent your country in the games. "It's definitely one of those sports that you could be from Canada and I could be from America we can still talk about something that we have in common being Hockey or you could be from Sweden and we can still talk hockey it's something that's just universal, I think in many aspects," Brooks said.