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'Miracle on Ice' U.S. Olympic hockey team honored by Golden Knights

Al Michaels introduces gold medal winners, whose impact on game still felt today

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer

1980 U.S. team honored in Vegas

FLA@VGK: 1980 Miracle on Ice U.S. team drops the puck

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the 1980 United States Olympic Hockey team is given a pregame tribute in Vegas

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Gold medal winners, meet Golden Knights.

The 1980 United States men's hockey team, which pulled off the "Miracle on Ice" 40 years ago Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y. were honored at T-Mobile Arena prior to the Vegas Golden Knights game against the Florida Panthers.

Team USA's stunning upset of the heavily favored and much more experienced Soviet Union team in the 1980 men's ice hockey semifinals remains one of the most stunning outcomes in sports history.

The team remains an inspiration to underdogs to this day.

"I think it's something when people see somebody have that success - young people who aren't that much different or that much removed from them - where they can't say 'hey that's something I want to do,'" said John Harrington, a forward on the team. "And I think that's what we felt is that maybe it inspired a lot of people or a lot of people aspired then, to be that type of hockey player."

When they went on to defeat Finland in the gold medal game, often an afterthought when telling the team's tory, they went from underdogs to champions.

Their impact is still felt today.

"I think it did springboard hockey in the U.S. I think it did get more people interested after that," said Mike Ramsey, a defenseman for Team USA. "You saw a lot of guys getting drafted. It feels pretty good about something that helped hockey in the U.S."

The man who introduced the team in Vegas on Saturday was announcer Al Michaels, who immortalized the team's amazing win with the iconic call "Do you believe in miracles?"

The Golden Knights trotted the team out to center ice and had them drop the ceremonial first puck between Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov and Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty.

- Independent Correspondent Danny Webster contributed to this report.

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