Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: team canada
On this, the 50th anniversary of the day when the USA won its first Olympic gold medal in men’s ice hockey, it will have a chance to win its third. Prior to 1988, the tournament format was like a modified Swiss pairing system that competitive Scrabble players and chess players are familiar with, so there wasn’t the excitement of a do-or-die gold medal game like there is today. Despite the pre-tournament ratings, USA isn’t nearly as much of an underdog as they were in 1960 or 1980, so it won’t be a “miracle” if they can pull off the win. In those ways, this tournament is very different from the other two in which America won gold.
This is very much the same, though, in that, unlike our Canadian friends, Team USA will be quite pleased with silver.
On Sunday, Ryan Miller stood on his head, making 42 saves in a shocking 5-3 win over Canada in the last game of pool play for both teams. USA looked like a completely different team than they did in their wins against Switzerland and Norway. USA has, stunningly, gone undefeated in pool play and has earned a first round bye in the elimination round of the tournament. Pool C still has one game to play, and if Sweden wins by less than five goals, or if the game goes to overtime, USA will be the #1 overall seed.
Aside from the sharp goaltending in the third period, USA played very well defensively, matched Canada’s aggression in the first two periods, and they made few mistakes. And most importantly, they scored the game’s first goal just 41 seconds in. This took the partisan crowd out of the game early, and team Canada was on their heels for the majority of the game.