Mark Pavelich, a member of the “Miracle on Ice” team, died by suicide, the Anoka County (Minn.) Medical Examiner’s Office ruled.
Pavelich, 63, died March 4 in a residential treatment facility in Sauk Centre, Minn. He had been receiving mental health treatment under civil commitment for a violent assault on a neighbor in 2019.
The medical examiner’s office announced its findings on Monday.
A hockey star for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Pavelich was a key member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, which won the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. He assisted on Mike Eruzione’s winning goal in the legendary upset of the Soviet Union, and scored a goal and had six assists in the Olympic tournament, which Team USA won by defeating Finland in the championship game.
Pavelich went on to play with the New York Rangers for five seasons, followed by brief stints with the Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks. The scrappy, 5-foot-8 forward last played professionally in 1992, after scoring 137 goals with 192 assists in 355 career games.
Pavelich had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, among other conditions. His family said after his death that his brain would be examined for signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which they believed he suffered as he took shots to his head during his hockey career.
–Field Level Media