Friday, January 18, 2008

Top Ten List

Top Ten List: The Boys of Winter

1) Herb Brooks is dead- This is a very important piece of this book because Herb played a huge role, being that he was the head coach. Also, the prologue of this book is about Herb’s funeral and how popular it was. This was an intelligent move by the author because by mentioning Brooks’ death in the prologue, it really sets his legacy as you read through the book.

2) Good book for hockey players- This book is an excellent choice for hockey fans and players, especially in the United States. This is so because it recalls one of the greatest and proudest games in American hockey history, and any real fan of hockey would appreciate it greatly. This game was so great because up to that point the Soviet Union had dominated the hockey world for decades.

3) Soviets defeated the U.S. in a game 2 days before the Olympics- At Madison Square Garden, in New York City, the United States and the Soviets had a pre-Olympic Games game, where the Soviets absolutely crushed the United States. For the United States to rally back to defeat the best team in the world after an immense lost just two weeks prior shows a lot of character implemented by the team and by the coaching staff.

4) Jim Craig- He was the phenomenal goalie for the Americans who stopped a ton of shots. He established his heart as well as his skill throughout the whole game, making save after save after save. Jim Craig’s father, who had not been to any of his other games, was in the stands, which made Jim want to impress him.

5) Mark Johnson- He was a center for the American team, and scored 2 goals in the semifinal game vs. the Soviet Union. Both goals were big rally goals including one that was scored at the end of the second period with 1 second to play. The other goal was with 13 minutes left in the third period to tie the score at 3 to 3.

6) Mike Eurizione- He was the captain and leader of the American team, and was (and still is to this day) famous for scoring the winning goal with just 10 minutes left to play. The final score of the game ended up being 4 to 3. “‘If that’s how people want to remember me, that’s fine,’ Eurizione said once. ‘I have no problem being remembered for one thing. Some people never even have that.’”

7) Teamwork and Hard work- Those two things won the game for the United States. As Wayne Coffee, the author, spoke of the players’ backgrounds, all of them had one particular thing in common: they were all known to be hard workers. It was by coming together as a team, after all the hard work they had put in, that they won that game.

8) Boris Michaelov- The Soviet Union’s captain who was the most dominant player in the world at that point in time. He played a huge role in the Soviet’s goals, scoring one and tacking up an assist. He was truly a great leader, and all of his fellow team member’s looked up to him.

9) The Soviets were the kings of the hockey world- For decades prior to the Olympic Games, the Soviets were the most dominant hockey team in the world. Also, with all the drama between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. and the Cold War, this game was only more important. It is because the Soviets were so dominant and that they were our enemies in the Cold War that this game was labeled the “Miracle On Ice” (that and no one thought the U.S. was actually going to win).

10) The fans gave the players hope- The rink that this game was played was packed to the brim with all the fans who were watching the game. Throughout the whole game, you could hear the fans chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and it gave the players an extra boost of energy, especially after they had just been scored on.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

week 7 part b

Dear Mister Wayne Coffee,

This letter that I am writing will, unfortunately, be my last, being that it comments about the last section of your epic book, The Boys of Winter. The section begins with 13 minutes remaining in the final period of the game, and Myshkin, the backup goalie for the Soviets, had been in net for 27 seven minutes- seeing only two shots. The score was 3-2 in favor of the Soviets, and while on the powerplay, the Americans just could not get it together. They had no flow and could not make very good passes. Next, you analyze the past of Dave Silk, the strongest weightlifter on the team. Silk lost his father at age eight, but found somewhat of a father figure in his coaches, particularily Jack Parker, the coach for Boston University. I find this to be perfect because most people who lost their father at an early age usually do search for a father figure in their life, and being that Dave Silk is a hockey player, why not have it be his coach? Transitioning back to the game, Silk had delivered a pass right to Mark Johnson in front of the net, who scored. The score was now three to three. And then, with ten minutes left, Mike Eurizione skated across the slot and fired for a goal, notching up the Americans to a score of 4-3. After a long and hard ten minutes with a lead, the Americans had finally won the game, and completed the miracle just a couple days later, as the Americans won gold. It was good writing to you, Wayne.


Erich Rectenwald

Monday, January 14, 2008

week 7 part a

  • bemused (p. 18)- bewildered or confused; lost in thought.
  • prodding (p. 220)- to poke or jab with pointed object.
  • "... as Sergei Makarov said, 'Their eyes were burning. They were a team.' "
This quote is important because it comes from a Soviet player who was commenting on the infamous game. The U.S.A. team and the Soviets had scrimmaged just two days before the Olympic Games at Madison Square Garden, where the Soviets won by a large defficit. This quote shows how a team can come together in truly the best time, and that it takes a team to win.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

week 6 part b

Dear Mr. Wayne Coffee,

I write to you in regards to the 6th section of 7 in your book Boys of Winter. This section begins right after the chapter where you go in depth with the final moments of the semifinal game with the United States against the Soviet Union. After the Soviet loss 4-3, you describe “Jim Craig’s Corner,” a.k.a. the spot of the locker room where Jim Craig, the goalie, would always sit. After the game, Jim went straight to his corner and started to undress, while his other teammates ranted and raved about their highly important victory. Personally, when you told readers about how mellow Craig was, especially after a great victory like that, I kind of got the feeling that he was either a really boring person or he was a good sport. After that part, you go into detail about Jim’s wife, Sharlene Craig, and how they met and so on. I find it weird and ironic that prior to the 2 meeting just a couple years after the 1980 Olympics, she knew nothing about him. Then after that part, you do into detail about what each player wanted to do after the 1980 Olympics, mainly hockey goals. The most common response was, “I want to play in the National Championship,” Whether it was for Boston College, the University of Minnesota, etc… Anyways, I will write again after the last section.


Erich Rectenwald

week 6 part a

  • goaded (p. 194)- v. To prod or urge with or as if with a long pointed stick
  • solvency (p. 213)- n. Ability to pay all just debts

Herb Brooks was able to get his team to beat the Soviet Union with hard work during practices, and lots of "Herbies."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

week 5 part b

Dear Mr. Wayne Coffee,

I am writing regarding the fifth section (p. 151-179) of your book Boys of Winter. In this section, you speak of the last minutes of the epic hockey game in the 1980 Olympics between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. You then give the background information/history of Eric Strobel, the ex-football standout from Rochester, Minnesota. Eric also got some time in the NHL, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. However, he preferred the leagues over in Germany because they were more physical than the NHL. But back at the game, with the United States winning 4-3 with four minutes left, Strobel was streaking down the side of the rink, but him and Phil Verchota almost collided, causing him to lose the puck. Anyways, I should get going.


Erich Rectenwald

week 5 part A

  • thwart (pg. 151)- to oppose succesfully
  • debilitate (pg. 172)- to sap the energy of strength of
One theme is teamwork and hard work can beat anything.