There were two pretty significant members of the gold medal-winning 1980 U.S. hockey team inside Agganis Arena this morning while the Badger women’s hockey team practiced in preparation for their NCAA Frozen Four semifinal matchup with Minnesota-Duluth on Friday (4:04 p.m. CT).
One, of course, was Mark Johnson, the UW head coach and leading scorer from the famed “Miracle on Ice” team. The other was Mike Eruzione, whose game-winning, third-period goal against the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic semifinal game, remains one of the great moments in American sports history.
Eruzione, the U.S. team captain back in 1980, was taking someone on a tour of Boston University’s facility and stopped by practice for a few moments to say hello to his former teammate.
The Badgers are hoping to weave a championship run of their own. They are the top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament and are looking to become the first team to advance to the championship game four years in row.
Wisconsin worked out for about an hour today. Senior Erika Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.), Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) and Hilary Knight (Hanover, N.H.) all did media interviews after practice, their local ties generating extra interest. Lawler and Johnson will participate in the official tournament news conference at 3:15 p.m. CT.
All four teams will enjoy a pre-tournament banquet this evening before narrowing their focus to Friday’s semifinals.