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Phil Verchota

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Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Gold 1980 Lake Placid Team

Phillip John Verchota (born December 28, 1956 in Duluth, Minnesota) is a retired American ice hockey forward. He is best known for being a member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team won the gold medal. He also played on the US hockey team at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Amateur careerEdit

Verchota attended Duluth East High School where he also was a star defensive tackle in gridiron football and recruited for both football and hockey at the University of Minnesota. However, he chose not to play on the football team and devoted all attention on playing hockey for the Minnesota Gophers. Verchota was a member of the 1976 and 1979 NCAA championship teams coached by Herb Brooks.

International/professional careerEdit

Verchota made his international debut at the 1979 World Championship in Moscow after his college career had ended. He then joined the U.S. Olympic team on a full time basis for the 1979-80 season.

After the Olympics, Verchota opted to play overseas with Jokerit in Finland rather than sign a contract with the Minnesota North Stars, who had drafted him 75th overall in the 1976 NHL Entry Draft (he also turned down an offer from the North Stars in 1977 to leave U. of Minnesota early). Verchota also played for the U.S. national team at the 1981 ice hockey world championship tournament in Stockholm before taking a one year sabbatical from hockey. He rejoined the U.S. national team as a full time player in 1982/83 and helped the United States win the ice hockey world championship "Pool B" qualifying tournament in the spring of 1983. He continued with the US national program until the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, and retired from hockey afterwards.

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