March 5 (UPI) — Mark Pavelich, a former NHL player who was a member of the United States’ “Miracle on Ice” 1980 Olympic hockey team, was found dead at a treatment facility in Minnesota, it was announced Friday. He was 63.
USA Hockey confirmed Pavelich’s death with a statement on social media. His cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of 1980 Olympic gold medalist Mark Pavelich,” USA Hockey wrote on Twitter. “We extend our deepest condolences to Mark’s family [and] friends. Forever a part of hockey history.”
Pavelich died at Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre, according to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office. He was receiving mental health treatment at that facility for the past several months.
Pavelich was living at the facility after a court ruled he was unfit to stand trial for an August 2019 assault on his neighbor. He was charged with four felony counts for the assault.
After starring as an All-American at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Pavelich went on to play in the NHL from 1981-87 and again in the 1991-92 season. He assisted on Mike Eruzione’s game-winning goal that helped the Americans beat the heavily favored Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics.
Pavelich spent five seasons with the New York Rangers and also played for the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota North Stars. In 355 career NHL games, he recorded 137 goals and 192 assists.