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A Hockey Coach to Remember
herbert Brooks coached the miracle hockey team of the Olympics of 1980. He had skated in two Olympic teams himself, was a long time college hockey coach, and spent 1979 looking for recruits for the team. In 1980, the US did not recruit NHL stars, for the players were still of entirely amateur status. Herbie Brooks went to the National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs, Co in 1979 and found those players who were the most willing to adapt to his style of hockey playing. His style was to skate hard and fast and work together as a team, with no individual standouts. He gave them psychological tests as well as physical ones, and tried to determine which players could not play together due to intense regional rivalry. Hockey was strong in only a few places back in 1980, and the rivalry between the University of Minnesota and Boston University was intense, culminating in a 1976 NCAA semifinal that was one of the nastiest college games played until that point.
The Hockey Team of the Decade
Let's go back twenty years to the Olympics of Lake Placid. It was 1980, and in those years the NHL hockey stars could not be chosen for the Olympics. The athletes were chosen at the National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs, Co., where they went to demonstrate their skills. After rigorous training and months of playing together as a team, they were finally at the Olympics, and the chant "USA! USA!" was making the arena shake, as this team of young college men were about to upset Czechoslovakia by a score of 7 to 3.
When Hockey Players Were Tough
To find hockey players that could brave exhaustion, hockey fights, and sleet and snow, we have to go way back to 1905 and an early Stanley Cup contest. The Stanley Cup had started in 1892, and in those days there was no playoff structure, so an opposing team could simply issue a challenge to the reigning champion. The team from Ottawa presently held the title, and a team from Dawson City in the Klondike issued a challenge to Frank McGee and his Ottawa team. The Klondike in the Alaskan wilderness that was having a gold rush just like the one in California in the 1840s. Adventurers and people looking to strike it rich rushed into the area, and one of the lucky ones, Colonel Joe Boyle, issued a challenge to the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup.