The surviving members of the 1980 USA hockey team realize they're getting up in years. That's just one reason the entire gang is getting back together for a 35th anniversary this weekend.
For the first time since it won Olympic gold and defeated a seemingly invincible squad -- in a game now known as the "Miracle on Ice" -- 1980's Team USA will return to Lake Placid, New York, where it cemented its enduring legacy.
The team's 19 surviving members will take part in an anniversary ceremony and honor teammate Bob Suter, who died last fall from a heart attack. The defenseman's jersey will be raised to the rafters of the arena where the team beat the Soviet Union and later won gold.
"The Bobby Suter situation was kind of a wakeup call that we're all getting older," captain Mike Eruzione told The Los Angeles Times. "We saw Bobby a few months ago at one of our signings. He looked great and talked fine and everything was good. The next thing you know, he's gone.
"The older you get the more you appreciate your friends and family, and he was part of our family."
The team reunion is also the first since 2002. At that time, Team USA coach Herb Brooks was still around. He died in 2003. The hockey arena, originally named Olympic Fieldhouse, has since been renamed Herb Brooks Arena.
Time has passed quickly for the team. Several are already grandfathers, and the different teammates have taken a variety of paths through life: Some playing hockey professionally, others getting into business. Eruzione, who scored the game-winning goal against the Soviets in the Olympic semifinals, works in the Boston University administration as its director of special outreach, and as a motivational speaker.
As the years have gone by, the feedback he gets from fans has changed.
"God, we're old," Eruzione told the Times. "What's even funnier is the letters I get today. They almost always start out, 'Although I wasn't born in 1980...'"
Here's the final minute of the 'Miracle on Ice.'