Ken Morrow and Mark Wells skated for the Falcons in the mid to late 1970’s and both experienced success during their time at BG. Their true moment came in 1980, during the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. For those who know hockey lore, you already know about what 1980 meant to the hockey world. For those who are unfamiliar, this was one of the biggest moments in sports history.
The cold war was in full speed during 1980 and the Soviet hockey team had been dominating the world for years. The soviets were the best team on the planet and were almost impossible to beat. During their run, from 1954 to 1991 the Soviets won gold medals at 7 out of 9 Olympic games and got 4 bronze medals, 7 silver medals and 19 gold medals out of 31 World Championships (they medaled in 31 out of 32 championships with the 1 coming in 1962 when they did not participate). In conclusion, they were GOOD!
There is a saying; “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” and having the 1980 games on American soil gave the U.S. a chance to make the Soviets fall and fall hard.
To the players, it was only a hockey game at first. To the world, it was a showdown of super-powers and world supremacy. The Soviet Union vs. The United States, Professionals vs. College Kids.
Ken Morrow played for BGSU Falcons and was a standout defenseman during his time. He won CCHA First All Star Honors in 1976, 1978, 1979 and was Second All Star in 1977. He was also named the CCHA Player of the Year in 1979. He was drafted in 1976 by the New York Islanders of the NHL, and was chosen to represent his country in 1980 at the Winter Olympics.
Mark Wells attended BGSU from 1975-1979 where he was a strong forward for the Falcons. He won CCHA All Star First Team Honors in 1976-77 and 1978-79 and was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1977. After his time with BGSU, he joined the U.S. National team for their Olympic Games in 1980.
These two young men joined 19 other college kids from across the country to take part in the biggest upset in sports history. The “Miracle on Ice” as it has been called occurred on Friday February 22, 1980 and saw the United States defeat the Soviet Union by a score of 4-3, to advance on to the gold medal game. They then went on to beat Finland to complete the “miracle” and win the gold.
Ken Morrow went on to play for the New York Islanders and won the Stanley Cup with them in 1980, becoming the first player to win a gold medal and a Stanley cup in the same year. He finished his career with 550 NHL games and 4 Stanley Cups, all with the Islanders. He currently serves as the Islander’s Director of Pro Scouting.
Mark Wells did not experience the same success as Ken Morrow, and retired in 1982 never playing a single NHL game. Due to medical issues, he sold his gold medal on November 6, 2010 for $310,700.
These two men helped make hockey history when they were young college kids, and they began their careers here at BGSU.