US hockey heroes four years later

As another Olympic hockey competiton begins, who can forget the ''Miracle on Ice'' at Lake Placid? And where are they now, those ''Boys of Winter'' who stunned the Soviet Union in one of the game's all-time upsets and went on to capture the gold medal?

Mostly they're still playing hockey. Two of them - Phil Verchota and John Harrington - are in Sarajevo hoping to become the first American players ever to win two gold medals. A dozen more are playing professionally, most of them in the National Hockey League.

The rest have gone a variety of ways - school, business, television, etc. But whatever they're doing, one can be sure they'll all be keeping tabs on this year's action.

Verchota and Harrington won't have far to look, of course. Neither will Mike Eruzione, hero of the victory over the Russians and now an ABC-TV commentator. Most of the others will be getting their information second hand, but they'll be rooting just as hard for another young squad to beat the odds as they did four years ago.

Here's a player-by-player breakdown: GOALTENDERS

1. Jim Craig. His great play against the Russians and his flag-draped search for his father are still two of the most vivid Lake Placid memories. Jim's pro career has been up-and-down, with mostly minor league action in between NHL stints in Atlanta, Boston, and Minnesota.

2. Steve Janaszak. The only Olympian not to play at Lake Placid, he has spent several years in the minors. DEFENSEMEN

3. Ken Morrow. A key man on the Olympic team, he joined the New York Islanders after the Games and has been a regular on four straight Stanley Cup champions.

4. Mike Ramsey. One of the youngest Olympians (19), and considered one of the most promising, he signed with Buffalo shortly after the Games and has been there ever since, making the All-Star team in 1982 and 1983.

5. Bill Baker. His tying goal against Sweden with 27 seconds left in the opener got it all started. In the NHL he has been up-and-down with several organizations.

6. Jack O'Callahan. An injured knee kept him out of some action at Lake Placid, but he was a defensive stalwart when able to play. After some minor league experience, he is now a fixture with the Chicago Black Hawks.

7. Bob Suter. A fill-in performer at Lake Placid, he now runs a sporting goods store in Madison, Wisconsin.

8. Dave Christian. A much-publicized Olympian whose father had scored the winning goal in the 1960 upset of the USSR. Normally a forward, he was switched to defense, but still was a top scorer and helped set up big goals against the USSR and Finland. As an NHL forward he has played well for both Winnipeg and Washington. FORWARDS

9. Mike Eruzione. He had three goals and two assists, but will always be best remembered for his winning tally against the USSR and his exuberence at the medal ceremony. Opted against pro hockey and has become a well known sports ''personality'' via TV broadcasting, speaking engagements, and other public appearances.

10. Mark Johnson. Led the team with five goals and six assists for 11 points. He scored twice against the Soviets and had the final goal in the 4-2 gold medal win over Finland. He played two seasons for Pittsburgh and has since been a leading scorer for Hartford. He was the only Olympian selected for this year's NHL All-Star Game.

11. Steve Christoff.Scored the first goal against Finland and set up the last one. Played well for a few years at Minnesota, and is now in Calgary.

12. Rob McClanahan. The answer to the trivia question, ''Who scored the actual gold medal-winning goal?'' he also played well throughout the Games and was one of the team's leading scorers. Has been up and down with the Buffalo and New York Ranger organizations.

13. Mark Pavelich. An unsung hero at Lake Placid, he made some very big plays , assisting on Baker's goal against Sweden and setting up two goals against the Soviets, including Eruzione's game-winner. Overlooked by the NHL due to his lack of size, he played a year in Europe, then was picked up by the Rangers, where he has been a key all-around player ever since.

14. Neal Broten. Only a freshman in 1980, he returned to college hockey for one more year, and has been a top offensive player for the North Stars since.

15. Buzz Schneider. An Olympian in 1976 too, he was one of the leading goal-scorers at Lake Placid with five, including the first one against the Soviets. He has remained in amateur hockey and tried out for this year's team, hoping to become the only three-time US hockey Olympian, but was held back by injuries.

16. Dave Silk. Another key man at Lake Placid, he assisted on two goals against the Soviets. Played in the NHL with the Rangers and is now with Boston.

17. Phil Verchota. Had five points including the tying goal against Finland. Was on the US national team last year, and is captain of this year's Olympic team.

18. John Harrington. His five points included an assist on Eruzione's famous goal. Since then he has taught and coached in Minnesota and played in Europe, and is a member of this year's US team.

19. Mark Wells. A spot player in 1980, he was in the Ranger organization and is now back in college.

20. Eric Strobel. Another part-timer on the Olympic team, he played briefly in the Buffalo organization, then returned to school, obtained a degree, and is now in sales. THE COACH

Herb Brooks, head coach. Spent a year in Switzerland, and has coached the New York Rangers since.

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