William Conrad "Buzz" Schneider (born September 14, 1954, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and raised in Babbitt, Minnesota) is an American former ice hockey player best remembered for his role on the US Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. He was also a member of the US Olympic hockey team at the 1976 Winter Olympics.

Buzz Schneider
Born (1954-09-14) September 14, 1954 (age 65)
Grand Rapids, Minnesota, U.S.
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 181 lb (82 kg; 12 st 13 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for AHL
Springfield Indians
WHA
Birmingham Bulls
CHL
Oklahoma City Blazers
SHL
Hampton Gulls
IHL
Milwaukee Admirals
NDA
SC Bern
National team  United States
NHL Draft 98th overall, 1974
Pittsburgh Penguins
WHA Draft 44th overall, 1974
Minnesota Fighting Saints
Playing career 1972–1982

Amateur careerEdit

Schneider has Croatian ancestry, and his nickname "Buzz" comes from its similarity to the Croatian word for "brother".[1] He grew up in Babbitt, Minnesota, where he played hockey, baseball and football at Babbitt High School.

After attending the University of Minnesota, where he played on the Golden Gophers under Herb Brooks and won the 1974 NCAA Hockey Championship, Schneider was drafted 98th overall in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and 73rd overall in the 1974 WHA Amateur Draft by the Minnesota Fighting Saints.

International and professional careerEdit

Buzz Schneider
Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing the   United States
Olympic Games
  1980 Lake Placid Team

Schneider played for the United States national team from 1974–76 at the 1974, 1975 and 1976 Ice Hockey World Championships, as well as the 1976 Olympic team) before turning professional. He played in a variety of minor leagues before playing four games for the Birmingham Bulls of the World Hockey Association (WHA) during the 1976-77 season. After the end of the WHA season, he returned to play for the US national team at the 1977 World Ice Hockey Championships tournament in Vienna. Schneider returned to the minor leagues in 1977-78. He played two seasons in the International Hockey League (IHL) before regaining his amateur status to play in the 1980 Olympics.

During the 1979–80 season, the left wing played 62 games for the national team scoring 27 goals. During the Miracle on Ice run in the Olympics, he scored five goals and notched three assists in seven games en route to the gold medal. Schneider played on the Olympic team's top-scoring "Iron Rangers" or "Conehead" line with John Harrington and Mark Pavelich.[2]

After the Olympics he played in Bern, Switzerland, until 1983. Schneider returned to the US national hockey team for the 1982 Ice Hockey World Championships tournament in Helsinki.

Post-playing careerEdit

After retiring from the game in 1983, Schneider returned to Minneapolis and worked as a sales executive for a semi-trailer company. He quit his job in 2001 to gain a commercial real estate license.

Schneider was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 as member of the 1980 Olympic team. He has two sons, Billy and Neal. He is now the coordinator of the Turkey men's national ice hockey team.

In popular cultureEdit

In the 1981 TV movie Miracle on Ice, Schneider is played by Jonathan Segal.

Buzz's son Billy portrayed him in the 2004 Disney movie Miracle. When director Gavin O'Connor was made aware of the family connection, he stated that he immediately wanted to offer Billy a role in the film.[3]

On the animated TV series American Dad, Buzz is also alluded to as Roger's persona "Chex Lemineux" in the episode "Return of the Bling". This is unconfirmed,[citation needed] but he is one of the only players not referenced in the episode. Roger is also present in place of Buzz in several photos shown in the slide show at the 1980 Olympic team reunion in the episode.

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1971–72 Babbitt J F Kennedy High School HS-MN
1972–73 University of Minnesota WCHA 34 7 9 16 26
1973–74 University of Minnesota WCHA 40 24 15 39 38
1974–75 University of Minnesota WCHA 41 19 17 36 63
1975–76 United States Intl 64 39 31 70 88
1976–77 Springfield Indians AHL 7 0 0 0 2
1976–77 Birmingham Bulls WHA 4 0 0 0 2
1976–77 Hampton Gulls SHL 42 14 22 36 38
1976–77 Oklahoma City Blazers CHL 1 0 0 0 0
1977–78 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 56 16 13 29 29 5 1 1 2 2
1978–79 Milwaukee Admirals IHL 67 12 23 35 80 2 0 1 1 4
1979–80 United States Intl 52 22 12 34 44
1980–81 SC Bern NDA
1981–82 SC Bern NDA
IHL totals 123 28 36 64 109 7 1 2 3 6

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1975 United States WC 10 8 0 8 10
1976 United States OG 6 3 2 5 6
1976 United States WC 10 2 1 3 6
1977 United States WC 10 1 1 2 2
1980 United States OG 7 5 3 8 4
1982 United States WC 7 1 1 2 2
Senior totals 50 20 8 28 30

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ GohpherHole.com. "Special Q&A: Buzz Schneider Talks Gophers, Olympics, Beating Russia & Life After Hockey". GopherHole.com. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "ESPN Classic - College kids perform Olympic miracle". ESPN. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Miracle Special Features - "From Hockey to Hollywood: The Actors' Journey"

External linksEdit