‘Miracle on Ice’ star Mark Pavelich found dead at 63 in a mental health treatment center


Miracle on Ice star Mark Pavelich found dead at age 63 in a mental health treatment center where he was admitted after ‘hitting his neighbor with a metal pipe’

  • Pavelich assisted in the winning goal in the defeat of the USSR in 1980.
  • After the 1980 Olympics, Pavelich went on to play for a decade in the NHL.
  • In 2019, Pavelich faced four felonies for hitting his neighbor with a metal pole, but was found incompetent and committed to a psychiatric facility.
  • Pavelich is the second member of the ‘Miracle on Ice’ team to pass away

Mark Pavelich, who played a key role for the legendary Olympic team ‘Miracle on Ice’, has died at age 63 after being found in a Minnesota residential treatment center.

Before his death, Pavelich was receiving mental health treatment at Eagle’s Healing Nest, where he was admitted after assaulting a neighbor in August 2019.

The Star Tribune reports that the cause of Pavelich’s death is not yet known, but that his body was taken to a medical examiner’s office.

He had not been seen since around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night and was likely dead for several hours when police were called to the center around 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Mark Pavelich, a member of the ‘Miracle on Ice’ team, has passed away at age 63

Pavelich was in a Minnesota treatment center, where he was receiving mental health treatment.

Pavelich was in a Minnesota treatment center, where he was receiving mental health treatment.

Pavelich faced four felony charges after striking his neighbor with a metal pipe, leaving James Miller with broken ribs, a bruised kidney and a fractured vertebra, among other injuries.

However, a judge determined that Pavelich was incompetent to stand trial in December 2019 and was admitted to a treatment center.

This summer, he was transferred to the treatment center where he finally died.

He was due to appear in court on Tuesday in connection with his commitment to the treatment center.

“Our firm is heartbroken to have lost our friend and legend,” said Carolyn Bruno, an attorney representing Pavelich in his engagement case.

Recently, Mark was filled with hope and renewal for the future. He had thrived in the new facility since leaving St. Peter.

Pavelich provided the assistance to win the game in the defeat of the USSR in the game 'Miracle on Ice' in 1980 (February 1980 exhibition between the USA and the USSR in the photo)

Pavelich provided the assistance to win the game in the defeat of the USSR in the game ‘Miracle on Ice’ in 1980 (February 1980 exhibition between the USA and the USSR in the photo)

The team would be immortalized by the 2004 film 'Miracle' (pictured from the game 'Miracle on Ice')

The team would be immortalized by the 2004 film ‘Miracle’ (pictured from the game ‘Miracle on Ice’)

Pavelich is best known for playing for the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, which shocked the Soviet Union at one of the most famous sporting events of all time before the team beat Finland in the game for gold medal.

Pavelich provided two assists in the game, including assisting Mike Eruzione for the winning goal in the USSR’s 4-3 victory.

He was portrayed by Chris Koch in the 2004 Olympics dramatization, ‘Miracle’.

After the 1980 Olympics, the Minnesota native went on to play in the NHL for a decade, preparing for the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and the San Jose Sharks.

Pavelich (right) would play in the NHL for a decade with three teams, including the New York Rangers.

Pavelich (right) would play in the NHL for a decade with three teams, including the New York Rangers.

In 355 regular season games, Pavelich scored 137 goals and provided 192 assists.

Hard times followed Pavelich after the conclusion of his NHL career in 1992.

Pavelich’s second wife, Kara, died in 2012 after falling from a second-floor balcony of their home. He was 44 years old.

In 2014, Pavelich sold his 1980 Olympics gold medal for $ 262,900, claiming he wanted to provide financial security for his daughter.

It was bought by Brian Raduenz, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who attended some of Pavelich’s high school and college games.

Pavelich is the second member of the famous ‘Miracle on Ice’ team to die, after defender Bob Suter passed away in 2014 from a heart attack.

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