Other International Stars
John Mayasich
United States

John Mayasich is regarded as one of the best amateur hockey players in the history of the United States.

His amateur career goes back to his high school days where he led Eveleth High School to four consecutive championships with nary a loss.

He moved on to the University of Minnesota, where he was guided by another American amateur legend, John Mariucci. Mayasich was an annual All American, and won two WCHA scoring titles. In 1954 an overtime goal by R.P.I. cost Mayasich the NCAA championship.

His lengthy international career started in 1956 as part of the United States Olympic team. That team won a silver medal, thanks largely to a Mayasich hat trick in a 4-1 upset victory over Team Canada.

In 1960, Mayasich returned to the Olympic games for his most memorable moment of his career. Mayasich, who had by this time been shifted to defense, played brilliantly.  His slap shot at Canada's goalie Don Head was quickly converted for a goal which proved to be the winner in the critical 2-1 victory. The upset victory created a wave of momentum for Team USA which saw them upset the Soviets and the Czechs en route to the unexpected gold medal on home ice at Squaw Valley.

Mayasich returned to international competition in five World Championships - 1958, 1961, 1962, 1966 and 1969. His best tournament was in 1962 when he was named to the All Star  team and earned a bronze medal.

Mayasich declined many professional hockey opportunities to remain amateur with the Green Bay Bobcats as a player, coach, and general manager. He also worked as a high school teacher, an encyclopedia salesman and a radio employee.

Further Research:
1960 Olympic gold medal
The First Miracle On Ice - ESPN Classic
Real miracle was in 1960 - Daily Press
The Cold Wars - Squaw Valley 1960 - CNNSI

 

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You don't need to know anything about hockey to be moved by this hourlong documentary about one of the greatest upsets in sports history: the United States' defeat of the vaunted Russian Olympic hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The story is retold in interviews with the people who lived it, including Brooks and several of the American players, sportscaster Al Michaels and key Russian players. Do You Believe in Miracles? is a solid blend of sports and history that focuses on the human element in one of the great underdog victories of all time