“Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels
On Saturday evening before a crowd of 3,276, the Birmingham Bulls relived the magic of the 1980 USA Olympic “Miracle on Ice” victory.
Despite doubling Fayetteville’s shots on goal, the Bulls trailed the Marksmen 1-0 with less that five minutes to go in the game. Then the miracle happened. Graham Yeo fired a shot on Marksmen goaltender Patrick Spano. The puck deflected off to Spano’s left and Phil Tesoriero came streaking in to bury the puck in the net tying the game at 1-1. Yeo and Evan Schultz get the assists.
The game would go to a 5-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period. With Fayetteville having multiple scoring chances and out shooting the Bulls 8-2, Charlie Millen stood strong in net. The fight for the extra point would be decided by shootout.
With Josh Harris, Taylor Dickin and Andy Bathgate successful, the Bulls outscore Fayetteville 3-2 in the shootout and defeat the Marksmen 2-1. Andy Bathgate gets credit for the game winning goal and Charlie Millen gets the win.
One fan noted that the goal count, 4-3, matched the score of the USA/CCCP game of 1980 Olympic fame. “We got our miracle”. The post-game jersey auction, benefiting Children’s of Alabama, was a wonderful success. Bulls fans opened their check books and their hearts to raise several thousand for the cause.
Birmingham hits the road to Evansville on Thursday night to try and get their first win against the Thunderbolts and continue the drive to the playoffs. The Bulls then return home next weekend to do battle with the Peoria Rivermen. Friday night, the first 1,000 youth 14 & under will receive a Bulls mini-stick. Saturday night, the first 1,000 youth receive Bulls trading cards complements of DMS Color in Pelham. It’ll be fun that you don’t want to miss. We hope to see you there.
Go Bulls!! We Bullieve!!