Coolbaugh: USA and Canada match-up sets the table for a modern-day Miracle on Ice

Brian Rafalski (left) Ryan Suter (center) and Paul Stastny celebrated after scoring a goal against Canada in their 5-3 victory on February 24th. (Ryan Remiorz (The Canadian Press)/AP Photo)

Brian Rafalski (left) Ryan Suter (center) and Paul Stastny celebrated after scoring a goal against Canada in their 5-3 victory on February 24th. (Ryan Remiorz (The Canadian Press)/AP Photo)

By Gethin Coolbaugh

You hear it every time it’s brought up: Oh, that hockey game was great alright, but it wasn’t anything close to the Miracle on Ice.

That may be, but Sunday’s bout between the United States and Canada has the potential to come pretty close.

No, it will not be as great as the Miracle on Ice. As far as I’ve seen and been told, no game ever will live up to it.

What that win over the Soviets on February 22, 1980 meant to the United States is impossible to replicate.

Yet a match-up between hockey power Canada and underdog United States has the potential to be the greatest modern-day hockey game of all time.

At least, for my generation.

Let’s face it, we’ll never win the argument with the forty and fifty year-old adults who claim the Miracle on Ice was the greatest moment in sports history.

And they certainly don’t let us forget it, do they?

I’ve heard countless anchors and analysts bash on the younger generation because we haven’t suffered through years of mediocrity for our sports teams.

Well, tough.

Just because a generation did not live through a time, it doesn’t mean that you can’t appreciate it.

Take the 2004 World Series, for example.

Just last week, when I heard the audio clip of the last out of the 2004 World Series, tears came to my eyes.

I was only 13 at the time, but that championship meant the world to me.

When that ball hit Doug Mientkiewicz’s glove, I jumped out of my seat and ran around the house cheering for a good three minutes consecutively.

No, I hadn’t lived through the 86 years of pain that the older generation of Red Sox fans had, but that moment will stay with me until the day I die.

So what if I didn’t suffer for decades? The Red Sox were still my beloved team and that year, they were the champions of the world!

Just because someone hasn’t lived through a long period of suffering does not mean that one can’t enjoy an event.

Using that logic, no living soul today could celebrate Independence Day.

None of us were living when this country was founded in 1776. None of us lived through times of slavery or government oppression. By that faulty logic, none of us are true Americans.

When the United States and Canada hit the ice at 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, the members of my generation may have a chance to witness our own Miracle on Ice.

The stages have been set in similar fashion.

While the United States has already defeated the Canadians earlier in the Olympics, Team Canada is still heavily favored to trounce the USA.

Tell me, weren’t the Soviets heavily favored to beat the US in 1980?

Again, I’m not saying that the Miracle on Ice was not a great feat. It is unquestionably the greatest win in the history of this great nation.

I am saying, however, that a win by Team USA on Sunday would be the modern-day Miracle On Ice.

All of that said, it still has to happen.

Come Sunday afternoon, the United States could pull off one of the greatest wins in its history. Or, this whole debate could be moot.

We’ll know the answer on Sunday night.

Gethin Coolbaugh is the Associate Editor of Boston Sports U18. He can be reached at 774-279-1995 or at You can also visit Gethin Coolbaugh’s official website and follow Gethin Coolbaugh on Twitter as well as his official NBA Twitter account.

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