Pop’s Power Play: Canada: Looking for Olympic gold

Chris Popovich ‘14
Reporter/Columnist

 

The Olympics can lift a nation and devastate another at the same time. If you ask me which Olympic season I prefer, I would say winter. The events are more exciting and there is just an amazing atmosphere.
I personally love watching the hockey part of the Olympic Games. When Sidney Crosby scored his gold medal-winning goal in 2010, it raised a whole nation (I’m a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada.) It also brought the USA back to earth showing them that their Cinderella run was not meant to be. The U.S. were underdogs during the tournament.
The Americans’ biggest game of round robin play would be against Canada; both teams felt good coming in undefeated. The U.S. took it to Canada and won 5-3, capped off by an empty netter from Ryan Kesler. The USA would take the win and march to the quarterfinals with a bye through the first round. Canada would beat Germany 8-2 in the first round and crush Russia in the quarterfinals 7-3. The U.S. beat Switzerland in a close 2-0 score in the quarterfinals.
Both teams would go into the semifinals with fans knowing that a potential Canada-USA final was in sight. Canada struggled to start the game against Slovakia but rallied to win. Finland gave the Americans no scare as the U.S. would win big 6-1. The stage was set, Canada vs. United States for the 2010 Men’s Olympic gold medal. This was for more than just a medal; this game was for bragging rights.
Early in the game, America’s Jack Johnson gave the puck away to the wrong team which would bury the mistake, giving Canada a 1-0 lead. After Canada took a 2-0 lead, the Americans went to work as Ryan Kesler would deflect a shot by past Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo. The third period started but it would be all Ryan Miller as the American goaltender would make great saves to keep the game at 2-1.
“Yes, I am a big American fan but I have to admit, Canada outplayed the U.S. in the third,” said Justin Thompson.
Late in the third, the United States would pull goalie Ryan Miller to try and tie the game. An American shot at the net, a rebound off Luongo, the puck is in the slot. Then U.S.A’s Patrick Kane throws one at the net, the puck deflects to Zach Parise who bangs it home. Parise celebrates and the Americans go crazy.
“What a big goal!” said Tyler Creagh. ”I was watching and started going crazy when I saw Parise celebrating.”
The game would go into OT. Canada’s Crosby would pick up the puck from the left side of Miller and fire a wrist shot through the five hole. Goal! Most Canadians described Crosby’s goal as the “Golden Goal.”
Any sports fan would say the Gold Medal game between Canada and United States was one of the best hockey games of all time, not just because of the proximity of Canada and the U.S., but because of the speed of the game, the saves made, and the energy and heart of both teams and their fans.
The finish to the 2010 Men’s Olympic Hockey tournament set the stage for the 2014 Games. Who will step up? Who will score the next Golden Goal?