William (Bill) Baker, born November 29, 1956 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota is a retired NHL hockey player. Bill played in 143 games in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers between 1980 and 1983. Baker is best known for being a member of the Miracle On Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team that won the Gold Medal in Lake Placid, NY. Baker will forever be remembered for scoring the tying goal as the extra skater with Jim Craig being pulled from the game forcing a 2-2 tie with Sweden in the opening game. This tie allowed the team to eventually advance to the medal round, and the rest is history.
Prior to the 1980 Olympics, Bakers high school team-- the Grand Rapids Indians-- captured the state championship in his senior year. Following Bills graduation from Grand Rapids Bill attended the University of Minnesota, where he played for the Maroon and Gold between 1975-1979. During his Gophers tenure, he captured a NCAA National Championship in 1979 under Herb Brooks leadership. Bill was named a first team All-American in 1978-79, and as a WCHA first team All-Star with the Golden Gophers. Baker's photo will forever be on the All-American Wall at Mariucci arena. In 1976 Bill selected 54th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL draft. Over the next 3 season he had short stays with 3 different teams, Firstly, Bill joined the Canadiens after the 1980 Olympics, and was later traded to the Colorado Rockies in 1981. He also played for Team USA at the 1981 Ice Hockey World Championship and 1981 Canada Cup tournaments. Colorado later traded him to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for another Golden Gopher, and former teammate of Bakers, Joe Micheletti, and Dick Lamby. Bakers final season came in 1982-83 with the New York Rangers before retiring from pro hockey to return to school for Dentistry. Baker was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 as member of 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983 as member of 1980 Olympic team as well. Baker was named one of the 50 greatest players in University of Minnesota hockey history as part of "Legends on Ice" tribute in 2001. Bill and his family currently live in Brainerd, Minnesota where he works as an oral surgeon and maxillofacial specialist.
|1975-76||U. of Minnesota||NCAA||44||8||15||23||28|
|1977-78||U. of Minnesota||NCAA||38||10||23||33||34|
|1978-79||U. of Minnesota||NCAA||44||12||42||54||38|
|1979-80||U.S. Olympic Team||Olympics||60||5||25||30||74|
|1981-82||Fort Worth Texans||CHL||10||3||12||15||20|
|1981-82||St. Louis Blues||NHL||35||3||5||8||50||4||0||0||0||0|
|1982-83||New York Rangers||NHL||70||4||14||18||64||2||0||0||0||0|