Statistical Leaders: 1979 National Sports Festival

Screen shot 2015-02-15 at 9.40.15 PMThirty-five years ago today, the Miracle on Ice was still a vision in Herb Brooks’ imagination. His youthful American squad had a tie and a win to its credit, with a game against Norway looming. The Soviets were still a week away. Everyone knows what happened next, and thanks to films like Miracle, even the events leading up to the greatest upset in sports history became mythologized. One such event was the 1979 National Sports Festival held in Colorado Springs. The hockey portion was conducted at the original Broadmoor World Arena. Convened in late July as an initial tryout for the 1980 Winter Olympics, it became a seminal moment in the American march to improbable Lake Placid gold.

Esteemed sportswriter John Gilbert was in Colorado Springs to cover the event. His 2010 book, Herb Brooks: The Inside Story of a Hockey Mastermind, includes the definitive retrospective chapter and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning the real story of how Team USA began taking form.

In Gilbert’s book, you’ll discover the context for a post-festival stats summary I’ve included below. And there’s some fascinating stuff, like why Dave Delich’s six points weren’t enough and why Jim Craig’s 12.41 goals-against average wasn’t too much.

So in this season of Olympic recollection, please enjoy a statistical trip down memory lane and the inevitable “what ever happened to him?” questions it may inspire.

Festival Scoring Leaders GP G A PTS PIM NCAA Team Age Position
Phil Verchota (Midwest) 4 5 3 8 15 Minnesota 19 Forward
Neal Broten (Midwest) 4 5 2 7 6 Minnesota 19 Forward
Dave Christian (Central) 4 4 3 7 0 North Dakota 20 Forward
Mike Eruzione (Great Lakes) 4 5 1 6 0 Boston University 24 Forward
Ken Morrow (Great Lakes) 4 3 3 6 2 Bowling Green 22 Defense
Dave Delich (Great Lakes) 4 2 4 6 6 Colorado College 22 Forward
John Harrington (Midwest) 4 1 5 6 0 Minnesota Duluth 22 Forward
Bobby Crawford (New England) 4 3 2 5 6 N/A 19 Forward
Henry Taylor (Central) 4 3 2 5 4 N/A 23 Forward
Mark Wells (Great Lakes) 4 3 2 5 2 Bowling Green 21 Forward
Mark Pavelich (Midwest) 4 2 3 5 6 Minnesota Duluth 21 Forward
Greg Woods (Central) 4 1 4 5 2 Denver 24 Defense
Jack O’Callahan (New England) 4 0 5 5 6 Boston University 22 Defense
Frank Roy (New England) 4 4 0 4 0 New Hampshire 22 Forward
Scott Lecy (Central) 4 3 1 4 2 Wisconsin 20 Forward
Jim Armstrong (Central) 4 2 2 4 6 Clarkson 21 Forward
Bill Army (Great Lakes) 4 2 2 4 2 Boston College 21 Forward
Mark Fidler (New England) 4 2 2 4 2 Boston University 19 Forward
Tom Mullen (Central) 4 2 2 4 2 American International 24 Forward
Les Auge (Midwest) 4 1 3 4 8 Minnesota 26 Defense
George Hughes (New England) 4 1 3 4 4 Harvard 23 Forward
Bill Whelton (New England) 4 1 3 4 2 Boston University 20 Defense
David Silk (New England) 4 3 0 3 8 Boston University 21 Forward
Rob McClanahan (Midwest) 4 2 1 3 4 Minnesota 21 Forward
Mike Ramsey (Midwest) 4 2 1 3 10 Minnesota 18 Defense
John Slonim (Central) 4 2 1 3 2 Brown 19 Forward
Paul Castraberti (New England) 4 1 2 3 2 Yale 19 Forward
Dan Lerg (Great Lakes) 4 1 2 3 0 Michigan 21 Forward
Brian Walsh (New England) 4 1 2 3 6 Notre Dame 24 Forward
Dave Feamster (Great Lakes) 4 0 3 3 12 Colorado College 20 Defense
Bob Grant (Central) 4 0 3 3 4 Dartmouth 22 Defense
Paul Miller (Great Lakes) 4 0 3 3 0 Boston University 19 Forward
Festival Goaltending Leaders Minutes GA SVS SV% GAA NCAA Team Age Position
Bruce Horsch (Great Lakes) 120 4 45 0.910 2.00 Michigan Tech 23 Goalie
Steve Janaszak (Midwest) 121 8 65 0.890 3.96 Minnesota 22 Goalie
John Rockwell (Great Lakes) 121 8 75 0.900 3.98 Michigan Tech 24 Goalie
Mike Dibble (Central) 220 20 105 0.840 5.45 Wisconsin 25 Goalie
Blane Comstock (Midwest) 119 11 57 0.840 5.54 Bemidji State 29 Goalie
Mark Holden (New England) 121 12 53 0.790 5.97 Brown 22 Goalie
Jay Palladino (New England) 91 10 55 0.840 6.62 Salem State 21 Goalie
Peter Waselovich (Central) 20 3 5 0.630 9.00 North Dakota 23 Goalie
Jim Craig (New England) 29 6 16 0.730 12.41 Boston University 22 Goalie
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One thought on “Statistical Leaders: 1979 National Sports Festival

  1. Nice story, Jay. Even though I am not a big hockey fan I still get a thrill when I hear the story of the “Miracle on Ice.” – Kris

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