"I'm Dave Silk," he said, undaunted.
"I'm Dave Silk's mom," she replied.
The girl fled.
So it was that people actually sensed the impending upset of the
Soviets, as if wishing could make it so. It was such an
unreasonable hope--virtually unthinkable for anyone who had seen
the U.S.S.R.'s 10-3 rout of the U.S. at Madison Square Garden three
days before the Olympics opened. Tickets for the rematch were
scalped for as much as $340 a seat, and Johnson heard of one lady
who had offered $600. "Are you telling me it wasn't worth it?" he
said two hours after the upset, while watching a replay of the game
with teammates in the Holiday Inn. "I'd have paid a thousand to
have been in that atmosphere."
It was electric. Craig, superlative throughout the Olympics, gave
up two first-period goals but made 16 saves, most of them tough
ones. Indeed, he kept the U.S. alive. Then, with three seconds
remaining in the period, the U.S. made the key play of the game.
Christian took a 100-foot slap shot from beyond center ice that
Goaltender Vladislav Tretiak let rebound off his pads. Johnson,
busting toward the net, weaved through the two Soviet defensemen
and picked up the puck. He feinted, dropping his shoulder as if to
shoot, and Tretiak went to his knees. Johnson pulled the puck back,
moved to his left a bit and slid the puck behind Tretiak and into
the net just before time expired. That was all for Tretiak, who was
promptly yanked from the game in favor of Vladimir Myshkin. And
when Aleksandr Maltsev made it 3-2 at 2:18 of the second period,
that was all the scoring for the Soviets.
All told, the U.S. outscored its opponents 27-6 in the second and
third periods, testimony to the team's depth and conditioning.
Charged up by the chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" the Americans tied
the score at 8:39 of the third period. Silk sent a pass through two
defensemen to Johnson, who picked the puck off a Soviet skate and
fired it under Myshkin. The game winner came 1:21 later, Eruzione
beating Myshkin through a screen. Eruzione means "explosion" in
Italian, and his goal sent repercussions rinkwide, nationwide,
After it was all over on Sunday, and the U.S. players were wearing
their gold medals, it was left to Harrington to find a fitting
Brooksism for the whole improbable series of upsets. He didn't have
to think about it long. "Boys, we went to the well again, and the
water was colder and the water was deeper."
It was sweeter, too.