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John Harrington reflects on what if there had been a rebound on Mike Eruzione's goal, what it was like on 1984 Olympic team

Former Minnesota Duluth forward talks about his time on the 1980 US Olympic hockey team, the relationship between the players and coach Herb Brooks, how he mentored him some as a new coach and what it was like trying to follow up the Miracle on Ice in 1984

John Harrington 2020.JPG
Minnesota State University-Mankato women's head hockey coach John Harrington talked about his experiences playing forward for the Miracle on Ice hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Harrington played high school hockey in Virginia, Minn., and for the University of Minnesota Duluth before being named to the Olympic team. Harrington talked about his experiences on Feb. 10, 2020, in his office at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato, Minn.
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MANKATO, Minn. — There were two members of the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic hockey team who went on to play for Team USA in the 1984 Olympics. One was former University of Minnesota forward Phil Verchota. The other was former Minnesota Duluth forward John Harrington.

Harrington, 62, talks in the video below about his experiences with the 1980 team from the tryouts, to its run through the Olympics, visit at the White House and how he ended up playing in the 1984 Olympics. He shares some of the changes from his first Olympic experience to his second one.

On the 1980 team, Harrington had five assists in seven Olympic games. On the 1984 team, he did not have a point in six games.

Before his first Olympics, Harrington played for Virginia High School (Minn.) and then for the Bulldogs from 1975-79 where he was a teammate of Mark Pavelich.

Pavelich, who was from Eveleth, Minn., would also be a linemate of Harrington's on the 1980 Olympic team and the two have remained close over the years.


The other player on the 1980 line was Buzz Schneider, who was from Babbitt, Minn. The three Iron Range players formed a line that is referred to as the "Conehead" line in the movie "Miracle." Harrington talks about his linemates, including his recent contact with Pavelich.

After his second Olympics, Harrington got into college coaching. He was an assistant coach at the University of Denver (1984-90) and St. Cloud State (1990-93). He was the head coach for St. John's University (Minn.) from 1993-2008 and then in Europe from 2008-11.

When he returned to the United States, Harrington was a scout for the NHL's Colorado Avalanche from 2011-15 before becoming the Mavericks head coach.

Read more Miracle on Ice coverage on The Rink Live , a Forum Communications' website dedicated to amateur hockey.

This season, sign up for The Rink Live newsletter to get the best hockey stories from across the region delivered to your inbox!

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com
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