Visit with Olympic goalie Jim Craig

Coach Carroll visiting with 1980 Olympic goalie Jim Craig.

I really enjoyed meeting 1980 Olympic goalie Jim Craig when he was in town recently.

Many of us remember exactly where we were when we watched the Americans win the gold medal in Lake Placid 33 years ago.
I watched the tape-delayed broadcast from my college dorm room at Mankato State.

Do you know that in March of 1979, USA Hockey actually held open tryouts for the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team? Even though most people felt Coach Brooks knew who he wanted on his team.

None the less, me and some of my Mankato State hockey teammates thought it would be cool to say we at least tried out for the team. Open tryouts were held in Minneapolis, Detroit and Boston.

A bunch of us registered for the tryouts in Minneapolis. Turns out, our team qualified for the NCAA Division II National Tournament, which was held about the same time as the tryout in Minneapolis. We contactedorganizers and asked if we could switch to the Detroit location.

They told us no, but said they would have scouts at the national tournament. If anyone caught their eye, they would be receive a special invite.

At the national tournament I made 59 saves in our semifinal game and another 42 in the championship game. 101 saves in two games. Not bad, but guess what, not good enough to win the national championship or to get a special invite to the open tryouts in Motown.

Not that I figured I had a shot at making the team, but it would have been fun to say that I at least had a chance to tryout for the club.