Mike Eruzione on the 'Miracle on Ice' 40 years later: 'We showed the world what makes this country great'

The American ice hockey team's 4-3 victory over the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., 40 years ago Saturday will be known forever as the "Miracle on Ice." But Mike Eruzione, the U.S. team captain, sees it differently.

"Miracle's a catchy phrase and it sounds nice," Eruzione told "Fox News Rundown" podcast host Dave Anthony Friday. "but it wasn't a miracle. It wasn't a fluke. We weren't lucky. Craig Patrick, our assistant coach, after the Olympics, said it best. He said, 'They deserved what they got.' You know, we deserved to win that tournament and we did."

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"The miracles happened in much more dramatic fashion than a hockey game," Eruzione added. "So it was great and ... a moment that my teammates and I are very proud to have been a part of."

The upset victory over the Soviets, who had won four consecutive Olympic gold medals in ice hockey, was immortalized by broadcaster Al Michaels, who asked America as the clock wound down: "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

Eruzione, who scored the game-winning goal with exactly ten minutes to play in the third period, recalled shaking hands with the stunned Soviet players after the final buzzer.

"When I was skating through the line shaking hands, it was almost like disbelief on their faces. Like, 'What just happened?' I think they were stunned. You know, they'd never lost. They hadn't lost in 40 consecutive games ... They weren't real happy.

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"To us, it was a hockey game," Eruzione added. "But to a lot of people in this country, it was more about we showed the world what makes this country so great. You know, underdogs and hard-working kids [who] came from working-class families who went out and did something and shocked the world."

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The FOX NEWS RUNDOWN is a news-based daily morning podcast delivering a deep dive into the major and controversial stories of the day.