One of the Olympic gold medals earned after the famed ”Miracle on Ice” hockey game in 1980 will be auctioned beginning next week.
The Minnesota collegiate hockey player who helped Team USA beat the Soviets on the way to the gold, Mark Pavelich, is selling his medal through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. Online and email bidding opens April 25.
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Team USA, made up of amateur and collegiate players and led by coach Herb Brooks, defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union at the Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Pavelich, who now lives in Lutsen, was among many Minnesotans on the team and skated for the University of Minnesota Duluth. The team’s story was turned into the Hollywood hit ”Miracle” in 2004.
Heritage sports director Chris Ivy said Pavelich, 56, is not in any financial distress.
”It’s something that he wants to help his kids out with education, the trust and that kind of thing,” Ivy said.
Bidding for Pavelich’s medal will start at $62,500, Ivy told the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1nfqGdb ), but expects ”a lot of spirit bidding.” One other gold medal from the team has been auctioned when Mark Wells sold his to a private buyer for $40,000. The buyer auctioned it in 2010 for about $310,000.
Pavelich, originally from Eveleth, skated for the UMD Bulldogs in college. His NHL career included stints with the New York Rangers, the Minnesota North Stars and finally the San Jose Sharks in the 1991-1992 season.
Pavelich earned two assists in the stirring semifinal victory, one on the game-winning goal by fellow forward Mike Eruzione. Pavelich has been the most private of the ”Miracle” team members, whereas Eruzione has made a living touring and speaking, and others make appearances from time to time.