Miracles are his specialty

DONNA CASEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

It was dubbed the Miracle on Ice and the captain whose game-winning goal catapulted an upstart gang of college hockey players into sports history says the Ottawa Senators need to do one more thing -- believe.

Mike Eruzione knows there are "the little things" the Sens can do to keep their Stanley Cup drive alive -- driving to the net harder, getting bodies in front of Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere and trying to get a puck to bounce just right.

But as they face a must-win game against the Anaheim Ducks tonight, the 52-year-old captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team said the Sens need to get into the right head space to snare a win -- and bring the series back home.

MINDSET

"We believed in ourselves and we believed in each other," said Eruzione of the U.S. hockey team that defeated the mighty Soviet team on Feb. 22, 1980 in Lake Placid, clearing the way for their gold medal win at the Winter Olympics.

"It really is a mindset of believing. There's no doubt in my mind that if they go in and steal a game in Anaheim, you might as well say 'When's Game 7?' because they're not going to lose coming home," said Eruzione, a former TV hockey commentator who works at Boston University as director of development for athletics.

"Probably the Canadian fan thinks, 'Well, it's over,' whereas the players probably think, 'You know what? A bounce or two last night, we could have won that game and now it's 2-2," he said.

History isn't on the side of the Sens for a comeback. The last and only time a team came back from 3-1 deficit in a Cup final was 1942 when the Toronto Maple Leafs overcame the odds. Over the years, all other 27 teams who trailed 3-1 have lost.

But for Eruzione, who also earns his coin as a motivational speaker, it's like seeing the pile of discarded crutches at Lourdes -- it's all proof of a miracle in the making.

"This is the true test of what type of characters and leaders are in that room," he said, adding his hometown team, the Boston Red Sox, beat the bookies by coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win the 2004 World Series for the first time in 86 years against the New York Yankees.

"The good thing for Ottawa is that they've been in every game they've played. It's not like they're getting blown out and they don't belong on the same ice," he said.


Videos

Photos