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Morrow first to win Olympic gold medal, Stanley Cup in same year

Defenseman was member of U.S. 'Miracle On Ice' team, NHL champion Islanders in 1980

by Stan Fischler / Special to

Legendary hockey reporter and analyst Stan Fischler is writing a weekly scrapbook for this season. Fischler, known as "The Hockey Maven," will share his knowledge, humor and insight with readers each Wednesday. Once a month, he will let a picture from his vast collection do the talking in his "Picture is Worth 100 Words" feature.

On the eve of July 4, he writes about Ken Morrow, a defenseman who helped the United States win Olympic gold and sparked the New York Islanders to their first Stanley Cup championship three months apart in 1980.


Ken Morrow will always have a special place in the history of hockey in the United States.

The defenseman, a native of Davison, Michigan, excelled for the U.S. "Miracle On Ice" team that upset the Soviet Union and won the gold medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Morrow then went from Lake Placid to Long Island, where he stepped into a regular role with the New York Islanders. His solid play in his own zone turned out to be a perfect complement for future Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Potvin.

Morrow was a prototype defensive defenseman, but he also had a knack for scoring big goals. During the Preliminary Round of the 1980 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Morrow scored in overtime against the Los Angeles Kings to win Game 3 of the best-of-5 series -- the first of three OT goals he scored in the postseason.

The Islanders won the next game to advance to the Quarterfinals, then eliminated the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres before defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final by winning Game 6 in overtime on May 24 -- three months to the day after the U.S. took home the gold medal at Lake Placid. Morrow became the first player to win an Olympic gold medal and skate for a Stanley Cup champion in the same season.

Morrow was a member of each of New York's four consecutive Stanley Cup-winning teams from 1980-83, and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

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