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Minnesota native's Olympic hockey gold medal fetches $263K at auction

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An Olympic gold medal earned by Minnesota native Mark Pavelich, who played on the "Miracle on Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic team, has been auctioned for $262,900, the Associated Press reports.

Pavelich, a native of Eveleth, Minnesota, had the assist on Mike Eruzione's game-winning goal for Team USA against the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Lake Placid Olympics. After that improbable victory, Team USA defeated Finland to win the gold medal.

Heritage Auctions of Dallas handled the online-only auction of Pavelich's medal, which was sold for $262,900 Friday. It also auctioned off the gold medal of one of Pavelich's teammates, Mark Wells, in 2010. Wells' medal sold for $310,000. They are the only two hockey gold medals to reach the auction block, according to the company.

Pavelich played college hockey at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. After the Olympics he played professional hockey for several years -- in the NHL for the New York Rangers and the Minnesota North Stars, as well as in Europe. He ended his career after playing two games for the San Jose Sharks in the 1991-1992 season.

Pavelich now lives near Lutsen and works in land development, the Star Tribune reports.

Heritage sports director Chris Ivy says Pavelich, 56, is not in financial distress, and will use the proceeds of the auction to help pay for his children's education.

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