'Miracle On Ice' forward Mark Pavelich arrested for allegedly attacking neighbor with pole, report says

Mark Pavelich, who was a member of the of the 1980 USA “Miracle On Ice” team and later played in the NHL, allegedly attacked his neighbor with a metal pole after the two went fishing, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

He was arrested Monday on charges of second- and third-degree assault, possession of an illegal shotgun and possessing a gun with a scratched off serial number in a Minnesota District Court. His bail is set at $250,000.

Pavelich, 61, was ordered by a Minnesota judge to undergo a mental health evaluation to stand trial. The results of Pavelich’s mental health exam have to be reported to the court within 60 days in advance of a competency hearing, according to the Tribune.

“There is reason to doubt (Pavelich’s) competency,” wrote Judge Michael Cuzzo in court order for the evaluation on Monday.

The victim, James T. Miller, 63, claims Pavelich struck him with a 3- to 4-foot-long metal pole after the former hockey star accused Miller of “spiking his beer,” according to the criminal complaint, which was obtained by the Minnesota Star Tribune. Miller returned to his home but was going “in and out of shock.”

Miller was hospitalized and he reportedly suffered two cracked ribs, a bruised kidney, a fracture to one of his vertebrae and several bruises across his body.

Pavelich is expected to return to court Oct. 20.

Pavelich was an integral member of Team USA’s 1980 squad that miraculously defeated the four-time defending gold medalist Soviet Union. The U.S. went on to win the gold medal, and the victory was dubbed “Miracle on Ice.”

After his Olympic victory, Pavelich went on to play six full seasons in the NHL. He spent five years with the Rangers, scoring 99 goals in his first three seasons, before joining the Minnesota North Stars in 1986-87. He had a brief pro stint in Italy, but then returned to play two games with the San Jose Sharks in 1991-92.