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Verchota saves the day with game-tying goal in the third!1980 Phil Verchota Gold Medal Game Worn USA Olympic Hockey Team Jersey. There are still countless Americans who believe that the historic victory over the Soviets earned the Gold Medal for the Americans, but that magical win simply gained entry to the Finals, a contest in which the USA sported the blue uniform format we present here. After such a tense and emotional roller coaster ride in unseating the prohibitive favorites for the Olympic title, the Americans had come out flat in the Finland game, trailing the Scandinavian side two goals to one as they entered the locker room at the close of two periods. It was then that coach Herb Brooks issued the stern warning that relit the fire on the American fuse.
"If you lose this game, you'll take it to your graves. To your #%$&ing graves."
Moments later, Phil Verchota would record the most important goal of his hockey career, taking a Dave Christian pass in the left center circle and finding the net at 2:25. Three minutes later, Robbie McClanahan took a Mark Johnson pass and went five-hole on the Finn goalie for what would prove to be the game-winner. Johnson would finish the American attack and lock up the Gold at three and a half minutes left in regulation with a short-handed score, the last of three unanswered goals in the third and final period.
Thankfully ABC had learned its lesson after the unfortunate decision to broadcast the victory over Russia on tape delay. Despite the eleven A.M. start time, this final game was delivered to American television sets live, allowing the nation to share in the Gold Medal dream's realization as it happened. Here we present the deep blue mesh jersey worn by the man who began the late-game scoring onslaught that assured the Miracle over the USSR had not been in vain.
Other than the swapped order of the coloration, this historic sweater is a match to the "Miracle" jersey in the previous lot, with "USA" in red and white tackle twill lettering on the chest. Number "27" is applied to sleeves and reverse in red and white, with "Eruzione" spelled in white across the blue rear nameplate. White stars spangle each shoulder. Interior collar holds "Norcon [size] XL" manufacturer's label. Appropriate game wear evident. Letter of provenance from Phil Verchota.
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