There was no better way to end a day celebrating Winthrop hockey than WHS hockey coach Dale Dunbar’s announcement at an event Saturday night that the Larsen Rink would be known from now on as Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center.
It’s a wonderful, fitting, and much-deserved honor for our hometown hero, Mike Eruzione, whose winning goal against the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics and his team’s gold-medal performance was deemed the greatest sports moment of the 20th century.
Who will ever forget Mike Eruzione’s goal? Certainly not announcer Al Michaels, whose, Do You Believe in Miracles?” still brings chills to all who watched that game. It could be said that Eruzione’s moment helped launch Michaels onto his phenomenal broadcasting career and his current Sunday Night Football role on NBC.
For Mike Eruzione, hearing fellow Boston University graduate Dale Dunbar, with whom he has voluntarily coached Winthrop High hockey, make that announcement truly touched his heart and that of his proud family who was on hand for this historic night. It was heartwarming to hear Larry “Huck” Larsen tell the large crowd that his father (Lawrence N. Larsen) would have been so proud to have Mike Eruzione’s name associated with the rink in such a meaningful way.
It was as much a celebration of Mike Eruzione’s Olympic achievement and hockey career as it was his family’s outstanding contribution to this community in so many ways, but notably through Winthrop Charities, an organization that has helped so many residents and groups in this town through its incredible generosity.
We understand that the Larsen Rink at the Mike Eruzione Center will feature a display of Mike’s hockey memorabilia including photos and equipment, so everyone who walks into the rink will know that this is truly the home of the man who brought so much joy and exhilaration to our country.
Many young hockey players, boys and girls, can be inspired by Mike Eruzione, who began playing the sport as a young boy (first in Revere and later in Winthrop), , excelled in high school (where he was given the moniker “Winthrop’s Mighty Mite” by long time Sun Transcript football columnist Bob Remer) and college, and then captained the U.S. Olympic Hockey team to a victory that has resulted in two movies. And we note that actor Kurt Russell (who played U.S. coach Herb Brooks in “Miracle”) sent along his congratulations to Mike in a film tribute at Saturday’s event.
Congratulations to Mike and his family on this tremendous honor of having the rink, where the foundation to his future greatness and international fame was first established, named in recognition of all he has meant to Winthrop, Boston University, and the United States of America.