All U.S. Olympic hockey teams will be measured against the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" squad.
There’s really no reason to do that until a gold medal is secured.
But, after Sunday’s stunning 5-3 upset of favored Canada and Thursday’s 2-0 win over Switzerland, the 2010 team is just two wins shy of earning the United States’ third hockey top prize, the other coming in 1960.
A quick glance of the 1980 and 2010 rosters shows little in common except one obvious exception — the name Suter.
Bob Suter garnered the gold for the 1980 team in Lake Placid and his son Ryan, a defensemen for the Nashville Predators, is clearing the puck for the current U.S. squad.
Bob’s brother and Ryan’s uncle Gary, a former NHL standout, won silver for the 2002 USA team in Salt Lake City.
The father-son storyline is a natural around Vancouver, though Bob, now in the sporting goods business, was never comfortable with the notoriety bestowed him from being a part of one of sport’s most notable moments and teams.
The signature prize for that time – the gold medal – was hardly a treasured jewel around the Suter household either. It was left all over the place, Ryan has told reporters. He even left it at school following a show-and-tell demonstration.
"I actually forgot it one time in my locker at school. I got home and I was like, 'Oh crap! I forgot it,’ “ Ryan told the Montreal Gazette. “It was there the next day, luckily. I brought it home and no one ever knew."
Until now, of course.
Bob, who rarely re-lives Glory Days, now doesn’t have to because Ryan has his own stories to tell. He’s a mainstay on the backline which Thursday limited Switzerland to just 19 shots.
Dad is well aware of what a unique connection his family has made.
“It’s really special because I know there haven’t been too many (father-son) combinations that have played in the Olympic Games,” Bob Sutter told the Tennessean. “It’s something he’s really wanted to do, and I’m proud he’ll be able to experience it.”
MORE CONNECTIONS: There are a few high school connections between the two squads, though Thayer Academy (Braintree, Mass.), is where the 1980 team’s David Silk attended as well as 2010 members Brooks Orpik and Ryan Whitney. … A pair of 2010 players Jack Johnson and Ryan Malone, both attended Shattuck-St. Mary's (Faribault, Minn.). … The 1980 squad was loaded with Minnesota natives, 12 of the 20 on the roster. The 2010 is widely dispersed, with four natives each from Minnesota and Michigan. Other states represented by the current team are New York (three), Wisconsin (three), Connecticut (two) and one each from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Indiana and California.
1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team
NAME, HOMETOWN; HIGH SCHOOL (if known) — NOTES.
Bill Baker, Grand Rapids, Minn., Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids, Minn.) High School.
Neal Broten, Roseau, Minn.; Roseau (Roseau, Minn.) — Set high school record with four assists in one period.
Steve Christoff, Richfield, Minn.; Richfield (Richfield, Minn.).
Jim Craig, North Easton, Mass.; Ames (North Easton, Mass.) — Had 54-2-1 record
Dave Christian, Warroad, Minn.; Warroad (Warroad, Minn.) — Four-sport athlete.
Mike Eruzione, Winthrop, Mass.; Winthrop (Winthrop, Mass.) — Varsity captain as senior.
John Harrington, Virginia, Minn.; Virginia (Virginia, Minn.).
Steve Janaszak, Saint Paul, Minn.; Hill-Murray (Maplewood, Minn.).
Mark Johnson, Madison, Wis.; Madison Memorial (Madison, Wis.).
Rob McClanahan, St. Paul, Minn.; Mounds View (Arden Hills, Minn.).
Ken Morrow, Flint, Mich.; Davison (Davison, Mich.).
Jack O’Callahan, Charlestown, Mass.; Boston Latin (Boston, Mass.).
Mark Pavelich, Eveleth, Minn.
Mike Ramsey, Minneapolis, Minn.; Roosevelt (Minneapolis, Minn.) — Top high school defenseman in Minnesota.
Buzz Schneider, Babbitt, Minn.; Babbitt (Minn.).
Dave Silk, Scituate, Mass.; Thayer Academy (Braintree, Mass.) — Scored 85 points first season
Eric Strobel, Rochester, Minn.; Mayo (Rochester, Minn.) — Three-times all-conference.
Bob Suter, Madison, Wis.; Madison East HS.
Phil Verchota, Duluth, Minn.; Duluth East HS — Football and hockey recruit.
Mark Wells, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
2010 USA Olympic Hockey Team
NAME, HOMETOWN; HIGH SCHOOL (if known) — NOTES
David Backes, Minneapolis, Minn.; Spring Lake Park (Spring Lake Park, Minn.) — His No. 5 retired at Spring Lake.
Dustin Brown, Ithaca, N.Y.; Ithaca (Ithaca, N.Y.) — In three seasons, tallied 203 points in the three OHL seasons.
Ryan Callahan, Rochester, N.Y.; Hilton HS — Played with New York Rangers teammate Daniel Girardi in the Ontario Hockey League.
Chris Drury, Trumbull, Conn.; Fairfield College Prep (Fairfield, Conn.) — Threw a 5-hitter and drove in two runs in 1989 Little League World Series championship game.
Erik Johnson, Bloomington, Minn.; Academy of Holy Angels (Richfield, Minn.) — Voted Best Defensemen for 2007 U20 American team.
Jack Johnson, Indianapolis, Ind.; Shattuck-St. Mary's (Faribault, Minn.) — Helped Shattuck win U.S. Nationals as a sophomore.
Patrick Kane, Buffalo, N.Y.; HS unknown — First overall pick of 2007 draft
Ryan Kesler, Livonia, Mich.; Winston Churchill HS — Had 44 goals and 73 assists for the MWEHL Detroit Honeybaked in 1999-2000.
Phil Kessel, Madison, Wis.; HS unknown — USA Hockey National Development Team’s all-time leading scorer.
Jamie Langenbrunner, Cloquet, Minn.; Cloquet (Cloquet, Minn.) — Had 150 points first three years in high school before being named Minnesota AP Player of the Year his senior year.
Ryan Malone, Upper St. Clair, Pa.; Upper St. Clair (Upper St. Clair, Pa.)/Shattuck-St. Mary's (Faribault, Minn.) — Son of former NHL former Greg Malone.
Ryan Miller, East Lansing, Mich.; Sault Area (Sault St. Marie, Mich.) — Grew five inches between junior and senior season.
Brooks Orpik, San Francisco; Nicols School and Thayer Academy (Braintree, Mass.) — Brother Andrew also plays in Penguin organization.
Zach Parise, Faribault, Minn.; Shattuck-St. Mary's (Faribault, Minn.) — Son of former NHLer J.P. Parise
Joseph Pavelski, Plover, Wis., Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.) — Helped team to Wisconsin state title in 2002.
Jonathan Quick, Hamden, Conn.; Hamden (Hamden, Conn.) and Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.) — Led Avon Old Farms to two straight state New England Prep Championships.
Brian Rafalski, Dearborn, Mich.
Bobby Ryan, Cherry Hill, N.J.; West Hill Secondary HS (N.J.) — Was born Bobby Stevenson.
Paul Stastny, St. Louis, Mo.; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) — Son of NHL Hall of Famer Peter Stastny.
Ryan Suter, Madison, Wis.; HS unknown — Dad Bob was member of “Miracle on Ice” team, his uncle Gary played 17 seasons in NHL.
Tim Thomas, Flint, Mich.; Davidson (Mich.) HS — Played wing briefly for Davidson, before switching back to goalie.
Ryan Whitney, Scituate, Mass.; Thayer Academy (Braintree, Mass.) — Teamed at Thayer with future Penguins’ teammate Brooks Orpik.
Senior writer Kevin Askeland contributed to this report.