February 28, 1958|
Eveleth, Minnesota, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)|
New York Rangers|
Minnesota North Stars
San Jose Sharks
|National team||United States|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Representing the United States|
|1980 Lake Placid||Team competition|
Mark Thomas Pavelich (born February 28, 1958 in Eveleth, Minnesota) is an American former professional ice hockey forward who played 355 regular season games in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks between 1981 and 1992. Pavelich was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal in what has been called the "Miracle on Ice".
The son of Croatian immigrants, Pavelich grew up in rural Eveleth, Minnesota. A star performer on his high school hockey team, Eveleth High School. He attended the University of Minnesota Duluth as an amateur player for three seasons in 1977–79. Pavelich is best known for being a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, that won the gold medal in Lake Placid. In the game against the Soviet Union, Pavelich was credited with two assists, including one on Mike Eruzione's game-winning goal.
After the Olympics, Pavelich, who was never drafted by an NHL team, played one season for HC Lugano in Switzerland where he registered 73 points in 60 games. He also returned to the US national team for the 1981 Ice Hockey World Championship tournament. He was brought back to the United States the following year by his former US Olympic coaches Herb Brooks and Craig Patrick, who had assumed control of the New York Rangers. Despite his small size, Pavelich initially thrived in his role as a quick playmaking center for the Rangers, and still holds the Rangers record for most points as a rookie (76). However, his career in New York was ended by a feud with Brooks' successor Ted Sator, who introduced a traditional North American dump-and-chase style of play. Pavelich balked at the lack of effectiveness and disorder brought on by the changes.
Pavelich briefly played again for Brooks with the Minnesota North Stars in 1987 before returning to Europe. He had a brief stint in Britain for the Dundee Rockets and played two seasons in Italy for HC Bolzano. The expansion San Jose Sharks brought him out of retirement for the 1991–92 NHL season, but he would play only two games for the Sharks before retiring for good. However, he did manage to record an assist on the Sharks' first-ever goal, scored by Craig Coxe in the third period of a 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on October 4, 1991.
On February 23, 1983, Pavelich became the first American ever to score five goals in a single game, against the Hartford Whalers at Madison Square Garden; he remains the only American to do so as of November 2018.
- Ranked No. 83 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).
Mark Pavelich's brother-in-law[clarification needed] was also a hockey player and now coaches for the Hibbing Bluejackets, in Hibbing, Minnesota. Pavelich currently lives in Lutsen, Minnesota. In April 2014, Pavelich announced that he was putting his Olympic medal up for auction, with bidding beginning at $62,500. Pavelich is the second player from the 1980 team to put a medal up for sale, with teammate Mark Wells having sold his in late 2010.
In popular culture
In a 1981 TV movie about the 1980 U.S. hockey team called Miracle on Ice, Pavelich is portrayed by Jack Blessing.
Awards and achievements
|All-WCHA First Team||1978–79|||
|AHCA West All-American||1978–79|||
Regular season and playoffs
|1975–76||Eveleth-Gilbert High School||HS-MN|
|1981–82||New York Rangers||NHL||79||33||43||76||67||6||1||5||6||0|
|1982–83||New York Rangers||NHL||78||37||38||75||52||9||4||5||9||12|
|1983–84||New York Rangers||NHL||77||29||53||82||96||5||2||4||6||0|
|1984–85||New York Rangers||NHL||48||14||31||45||29||3||0||3||3||2|
|1985–86||New York Rangers||NHL||59||20||20||40||82||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||12||4||6||10||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1991–92||San Jose Sharks||NHL||2||0||1||1||4||—||—||—||—||—|
- "'Miracle on Ice' gold medal up for auction".
- "'Miracle on Ice' gold medal sold for over $310K". ESPN.com. 6 November 2010.
- Chris Koch biography at the Internet Movie Database https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1537836/
- "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). NCAA.org. Retrieved June 11, 2013.