Minnesota has always had a strong presence at the Winter Olympics, and with the opening ceremonies for the 2018 Games less than two weeks away, we decided to take a look back at some of the all-time great performances by Minnesotans in the Olympics. Needless to say, it’s an impressive group.
And while we celebrate past achievements, we look forward to seeing the next stars emerge as the U.S. men open against Slovenia on Feb. 14 and the U.S. women start against Finland on Feb. 11.
John Mayasich: Eveleth native helped Team USA earn silver in 1956 before starring for the 1960 team, which captured gold in Squaw Valley. Tallied 14 goals and 8 assists for 22 points in 14 games spanning both Olympics. Mayasich holds the all-time USA Hockey record for goals and points scored in the Olympics.
Bill Christian: Warroad native scored the tying and game-winning goals in the 1960 gold medal game against the Czechs. Registered a total of 16 points in 14 Olympic games (1960 and 1964). Bill is third all-time in the USA Hockey record books for points scored in the Olympics; he is first in assists.
Roger Christian: Bill’s brother, Roger, played alongside Bill in both the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games. He scored 4 goals in the gold medal game against the Czechs, including 3 goals in the third period to seal the deal. Roger is fourth, just behind his brother, in the USA Hockey record books for scoring in the Olympics. He holds the record for most goals scored in a single tournament with 8.
Tommy Williams: Duluth native was the third wheel on the line with Bill and Roger Christian, tallying 5 points in the tournament en route to Team USA’s first-ever gold medal.
Jenny Potter: Edina native played in a record 4 Olympics. Holds records for career points scored with 32 (11 goals, 21 assists) and most points in a single tournament with 11 in 2010. Won gold in 1998, silver in 2002 and 2010, and bronze in 2006.
Buzz Schneider: The “Babbitt Rabbit” played in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, notching 11 points in 12 total games. He scored the first goal in the Miracle on Ice.
Mark Pavelich: Eveleth native registered 7 points in 7 games, including an assist on Mike Eruzione’s game-winning goal against the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice.
John Harrington: Virginia native rounds out the “Conehead Line,” which combined for 34 points in the tournament. He also tallied an assist on Eruzione’s game-winner.
Corey Millen: Cloquet native led the 1988 Olympic team in scoring with 11 points, including 6 goals and 5 assists. He also played on the 1984 team in Sarajevo. Millen is tied for second in the record books with 4 points registered in 1 game. He’s tied for fourth with 11 points in a single tournament.
Natalie Darwitz: Eagan native is second in all-time points at the Olympics with 25. She is tied for most career goals with 14. She is the leader in most goals in a single tournament with 7 in 2002, and most points in a single game with 5 in 2010. Captained the squad in 2010.
Craig Sarner: North Saint Paul native led the 1972 team in scoring with 4 goals and 5 assists in 5 games en route to a silver medal.
David Backes: Spring Lake Park native appeared in 2010 and 2014 Olympics, totaling 7 points and arguably being Team USA’s best forward in Sochi. Captured silver in 2010.
Anthony Conroy: Saint Paul native scored 14 goals in four games as a member of the silver medal-winning 1920 Olympic team in Antwerp.
Phil Verchota: Duluth native collected 9 points in 13 contest spanning the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games. Scored the game-tying goal in the 1980 gold medal game against Finland.
Frank “Moose” Goheen: White Bear Lake native scored 7 goals in 4 games, helping Team USA to a silver medal in the first Olympic Games that featured ice hockey in 1920.
Henry Boucha: Warroad native scored 6 points in 6 games at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, where the U.S. won silver.
Ken Yackel: Saint Paul native notched 6 goals and 9 points in 8 games for the silver-winning 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway.
Krissy Wendell: Brooklyn Park native helped Team USA to silver in 2002 and bronze in 2006. Talled 6 points in 5 games at the 2002 Olympics and captained the squad in 2006.
Zach Parise: Bloomington native led the 2010 team with 8 points in 6 games, including the game-tying goal against Canada that sent the gold medal game into overtime. Served as alternate captain of the 2010 team in Vancouver and captain of the 2014 team in Sochi.
T.J. Oshie: Unforgettable shootout performance against Russia in 2014’s Sochi Olympics earns the former Warroad star a spot on the roster.
Phil Housley: South St. Paul native registered 5 points in 6 games, including the semifinal game-winner over Russia, in the 2002 Olympics, where Team USA earned silver.
Mike Ramsey: Minneapolis native was the youngest player on the 1980 team – he was just 18. He was on the ice for the final minutes of the Miracle on Ice, protecting the Americans’ greatest upset in sports history.
Arnold C. Oss, Jr.: Minneapolis native tallied 11 points in 8 games en route to the 1952 silver medal.
Bill Baker: The Grand Rapids native scored the last-second game-tying goal in the 1980 Olympics opener against Sweden, and played steady on the blue line throughout the rest of the tournament.
Gigi Marvin: Warroad native will be playing in her third Olympics. Collected two silver medals and has moved to defense for the 2018 Games in search of gold for Team USA.
Ryan McDonagh: Mounds View native’s strong defensive play and puck-moving ability relied on in all situations at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Jack McCartan: The Saint Paul native backstopped the 1960 Olympic team to a gold medal with a perfect 7-0 record. Coach Jack Riley said of McCartan: "He was the most outstanding goalie I've ever seen. Without him we wouldn't have been successful at Squaw Valley." McCartan is at the top of the USA Hockey record books with 7 wins in the Olympics.
Mike “Lefty” Curran: The International Falls native was named MVP of the 1972 Olympic team, which captured silver in Sapporo, Japan.
Willard Ikola: Best known for his coaching accolades, the Edina native played in three games for the silver medal-winning 1956 Olympic squad in Cortina, Italy.
Herb Brooks: Saint Paul native is one of two Minnesotans to appear in 4 Olympic Games. He is the only person to appear as a player and a coach. Brooks orchestrated the 1980 Miracle on Ice and also led the 2002 squad to silver behind the bench.
John Mariucci: Eveleth native coached the 1956 Olympic squad to silver, which included 11 Minnesotans that upset Canada in Cortina, Italy.
Murray Williamson: Gopher legend led the U.S. in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, where they captured silver in Sapporo.
Dave Peterson: Saint Paul native coached the 1988 and 1992 Olympic men’s hockey teams.