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Rob McClanahan on a Paraguayan stamp

Rob Bruce McClanahan (born in Saint Paul, Minnesota on January 9, 1958) is a former American professional ice hockey player who played 224 games in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers between 1980 and 1983. However, he is best known for being a member of the U.S. hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. The team played in what came to be known as the "Miracle on Ice" game, beating 1:33 odds in a 4-3 victory over the previously undefeated USSR.

Amateur and International Career[]

McClanahan attended Mounds View High School and went on to play three seasons with the University of Minnesota, winning the 1979 NCAA national ice hockey championship. After representing the U.S. at the 1979 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament in Moscow, McClanahan joined the U.S. Olympic team on a full time basis and scored 34 goals in 63 exhibition games. The culmination of McClanahan's amateur career came at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York when he scored five goals in seven games while helping his country win the gold medal. He scored the winning goal in the gold medal game against Finland (which the U.S. came back to win 4-2) two days after the historic American victory over the Soviets.

During the opening game of the Olympic tournament against Sweden, McClanahan sustained a bruise on the upper thigh, which left the U.S. team short another player, as fellow teammate Jack O'Callahan had been injured during the exhibition game against the Soviet Union only three days prior to the Olympics. A famed argument between McClanahan and Team USA's coach Herb Brooks helped motivate McClanahan to play through his injury and inspire his team to a come-from-behind draw against Sweden that was vital to the team's gold medal success later in the tournament.

Professional career[]

McClanahan was selected forty-ninth overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres but did not begin playing with the Sabres until 1980, shortly after the Olympics. His NHL career was comparatively short-lived as he was mostly used as a role player. He bounced between the NHL and the American Hockey League and played part of the 1983/1984 season in the Central Hockey League with the Tulsa Oilers before finishing his NHL career under his old Olympic coach Herb Brooks with the New York Rangers in 1984 (he also represented the Hartford Whalers in 1981-82). During his professional career, McClanahan also was a member of Team USA at the 1981 Canada Cup.

External links[]

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