Real-life "Miracle on Ice" goalie Jim Craig approves of the film
"It was weird seeing a movie about your life," said Jim Craig, who was the goalie of the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team and often referred to as the backbone of the squad. After seeing the movie, Craig called it 99 percent accurate.
"Seeing the Russian uniforms, and hearing the USA chant and Carter talking all brought back memories for me," he said. "It was like watching the game all over again." The actors' portrayals of his teammates were terrific, and Kurt Russell was "tremendous. You believe instantly he's a leader, which is what Herb was."
Craig also enjoyed Eddie Cahill's work playing the 22-year-old goalie. "He's a real nice guy who's going to go far in movies. Watching him made me miss all my hair though."
In the creative process of Miracle, Craig and others went to the Vancouver set and met the cast and crew. Cahill also emailed Craig to ask for help in his role. "There's still a close bond between the guys on the team, and, with the actors, it adds 20 more guys," Craig said. At the premiere of the movie, Craig was able to take his son and daughter out on the red carpet. "My daughter's a big hockey player, so it was great she got to meet Wayne Gretzsky there," he said.
Craig also has a Bowdoin connection: he played at Boston University with Coach Terry Meagher's brother, Rick. Also, Meagher played on the Terriers with Mike Eruzione and Jack O'Callahan. In Meagher's office, he framed the Sports Illustrated cover of the "Miracle on Ice," complete with signatures from the players.
Though Meagher hasn't seen the movie yet, he does know of one discrepancy-O'Callahan had a right shot, while actor Michael Mantenuto plays him with a left-handed shot. Maybe that's the one percent that Craig didn't account for.
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