A lot of casual hockey fans are probably unaware that the United States hockey team has gone without a gold medal since 1980's "Miracle on Ice." That's 18 years before the incorporation of NHL players.

Credit: Brian Bahr /Allsport Getty Images

Mike Madano, Gary Suter, Jeremy Roenick, Brett Hull, Bill Guerin. None of these American greats won that precious gold.

The best the United States has finished since 1980 is silver in 2002 and 2010.

Team USA watches Canada celebrate their 5-2 victory in the gold medal game at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This year could change.

Russia's gone, Canada is slow and not producing offense. If the United States wins against Canada in Friday's semi-finals, they would take on either Sweden or Finland. Either match-up there would stack up favorably to the United States.

Getty Images

Let's cross our fingers and hope for the first United States ice hockey gold medal in my lifetime.