Posted on: January 30, 2009 10:21 pm

Olympic coach named

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are a little more than a year away, and the U.S. women's hockey team named its coach . Mark Johnson .

"He comes to this assignment with some extremely unique credentials, which gave him a bit of an advantage," said USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean. "He has played in the games and he knows what the ultimate pressure is about of competing for a gold medal as an athlete."

Probably his best known claim to fame is as a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, aka the Miracle on Ice. In the Soviet game alone he had two game-tying goals as explained and shown in this
YouTube clip .

Also read what USAToday's Kevin Allen thinks of his influence on that game and Olympics .
Johnson already has proven he has magic touch at Olympics
Because Mike Eruzione scored the game-winning goal against the Soviets, that American team has always been cast as a rag-tag bunch of college players that was able to slay the bear when the bear seemed invincible. But the truth is history showed that the Americans were a very talented team, and Johnson, then 22, was the American's leading scorer against the Soviets and in the tournament.

If that wasn't enough, he also won an NCAA championship in 1977 at the University of Wisconsin, and that team was coached by his father, Bob Johnson . In 1991 he led the Pittsburgh Penguins to a Stanley Cup Championship.

"If there is any competition for who the first family in hockey is in the United States the last name is either Johnson or Granato," Ogrean said. "And they both have a big Badger connection."

Following in his father's coaching skates, Johnson has coached the University of Wisconsin's women's team since 2002. He led the Badgers to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Hopefully Johnson can continue his winning ways in the 2010 Olympics, just 378 days away.

Shameless admission and plug:
My love of hockey starts with the Miracle on Ice. Listening and watching the clip linked above gave my cold chills and brought a tear to my eye.
Anyway, in my opinion all U.S. hockey fans should watch the documentary, Do You Believe in Miracles? and the movie, Miracle . Fans should also read the book, The Boys of Winter .
"It's a great day for hockey." - Bob Johnson.

Category: Olympic Games
Tags: Hockey
Posted on: August 30, 2008 11:47 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2008 11:48 pm

Why it took 15 years

So the astute reader will realize it took me 15 years to make the jump from Olympic hockey to NHL hockey.
It's mostly, rightly or wrongly, my association at that time of NHL hockey with too much violence and goonery.
That and lack of an NHL team in Atlanta. Jim Craig came to the Flames, but the team left at the end of the season.
Had the team stayed it might have been different.
Other sports interests took hold though. In the early- to mid- 80s I was a huge NBA fan. I loved watching Larry Bird, an Indiana native, play with the Celtics. Their match-ups with the Lakers then were magical. That rivalry started from the 1979 NCCA final game, which I remember watching with friends and family.
My love for the NBA, and nearly all sports waned, until the early 90s. With the Atlanta Braves run in 1991, I became a baseball fan. The 1994 strike left me disillusioned though.
However another Atlanta team piqued my interest when friends invited me to an Atlanta Knights game. Man those games were loads of fun. That's when I was able give professional hockey a chance.
The rest is history.
Category: NHL
Tags: hockey
Posted on: August 22, 2008 7:23 pm

Army vet plays hockey on one leg

Former soldier plays hockey on one leg and a prosthetic leg.

Gotta love his desire in wanting to play hockey again.
Bowser said he arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here about a week after being wounded. The doctors thought he would have more mobility with a prosthetic leg, he recalled, rather than by keeping his mangled limb.
“The first thing that I thought of was that I wanted to play hockey again,” Bowser said. “So, I said I wanted to have it amputated.”

Category: NHL
Tags: hockey, veteran
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