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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Rob McClanahan

(Born on January 9, 1958) -- When it comes to Olympic heroes who played for the Buffalo Sabres, it’s easy to think of Mike Ramsey - a member of the “Miracle on Ice” group that won a gold for the United States in 1980. But don’t forget one of McClanahan’s teammates, Rob McClanahan.

The forward was part of a national championship team at the University of Minnesota in 1979. He joined the Olympic team the next season, and became a standout. McClanahan only trailed Mark Johnson in the exhibition season in the run-up to Lake Placid.

When McClanahan arrived, he was ready. Not only did he have five goals in the tournament, but McClanahan scored the game-winning goal in the third period against Finland. Moments don’t come much better than that.

The Sabres signed him right after the Olympics and brought him to Buffalo to play. That must have been a difficult emotional task, but McClanahan still had some good moments for a Buffalo team that reached the NHL playoff semifinals.

In the fall of 1981, the Sabres put him on waivers, and the Whalers claimed him. McClanahan also spent time with the Rangers before retiring because of injures. From there it was on to a second career, working on investments back home in Minnesota. Think anyone asks him about Lake Placid?

--- Budd Bailey

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