Team Canada knew deep down the moment they lost to USA earlier in the tournament that they would meet them again in the Finals for the Gold. With that in mind, they knew they had to play a solid game, and not make the same mistakes the USA had been making during the tournament. Boy did they deliver. Canada came out in the Gold Medal game ready to play and immediately brought it to Team USA as they did in the previous game they lost to USA. USA did not show up to play in the first period.
Once again it was USA Goaltender Ryan Miller keeping them in the game. USA played the same sloppy play as I have personally brought up before during the tournament. Jonathan Toews scored late in the 1st period to put Team Canada up 1-0. The end of the first would come, with Team USA being lucky to have not had a bigger hill to climb, mainly to the sensational play of Miller. USA finally woke up coming into the 2nd period and began to put the pressure on Team Canada. Canada would later respond 7:13 into the 2nd period with Corey Perry scoring on Miller making it 2-0. The crowd was insane at the point, thinking they had Team USA back on their heels. Ryan Kessler would get one by Team Canada Goaltender Roberto Luongo at the 12:44 mark of the 2nd period. The end to end hockey would begin as Team USA sensed they could get back into the game at the point.
[adinserter block=”1″]The 3rd period would see more end to end action, and back and forth pressure from each team. With the final minutes coming at the end of the 3rd period, the crowd was getting restless as they could feel the clean sweep of Olympic Hockey for their country, having the Women Canadian team win the gold days prior. Zach Parise would spoil those dreams for the moment, beating Luongo with 25 seconds remaining in the game. The crowd was silent and the worried faces began to show throughout the crowd. You could sense the Pro Canada crowd began to worry if Team USA would go 2 for 2 against the mighty Canadians. The period would end, and Over Time would ensue. Sidney Crosby, maybe the most clutch player for Canada in the tournament so far, would score 7:40 into Over Time bringing Canada 2 Gold Medals for their beloved game of Hockey. The crowd was deafening, and rightfully so.
After the game, Crosby stated, “Our team worked so unbelievably hard. Today was really tough, especially when they got a goal late in regulation. But we came back and got it in overtime.” USA’s Chris Drury stated, “No one knew our names. People know our names now.”Canada won its eighth hockey gold medal and only it’s second since 1952. “It stings right now,” said Miller who was the Tournament MVP. Miller played some of the best hockey I’ve seen from a Goaltender in some time. It makes you wonder if he can carry that same play over to Buffalo and help try to give them a run to the Playoffs in the NHL.
[adinserter block=”2″]”It’s devastating. It was the biggest game any of us have played in,” U.S. defenseman Jack Johnson stated. USA losing to Canada is not a bad thing, as USA is an extremely young team. This can do nothing but make those players better. With such veteran players like NHL Philadelphia Flyers Chris Pronger, and Mike Richards you have to hope like with Miller, can it carry over to NHL play? During the tournament there was a lot of talk about if this great tournament that was being showcased could bring hockey back on the map for the USA media and households to make main stream again. That question is something that only time can tell, but I sure hope so. Can all NHL fans say that hockey on Versus is acceptable?
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