USA against Canada, one of the biggest, if not the biggest, International hockey rivalries. The two teams play Friday in the semifinals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. A 2010 gold medal game rematch, USA looks to redeem itself after losing in overtime in Vancouver while Canada looks to advance to defeat their gold medal.
The two teams have had similar journeys to get to where they are now. Both teams went 2-0-1-0 in the preliminary round. USA cruised into the semifinals with a easy win against the Czech Republic, while Canada barely snuck my cinderella story Latvia winning 2-1. Both will go back to their quarterfinal goalies as well, Jonathan Quick for the US backed up by 2010 goal medal goalie Ryan Miller, and Carey Price between the pipes for Canada backed up my 2010 gold medal game goalie Roberto Luongo.
USA jumped to a good start early with a semi breakaway from Phil Kessel, but it didn’t last long. Canada had a flurry of chances early after a Backes turnover. USA is getting their line matched up early, Backes line against Getzlaf, and Pavelski’s against Toews.
John Carlson almost opened up the scoring but Price made a fantastic glove save to keep the puck out of the net. Kessel helped set up the shot, and has been on the ice for all of the USA’s chances. The following shift was all USA, Parise, Kane, and Kesler had a great shift, again almost breaking the tie.
Canada got the first power play of the game when Ryan Suter got caught hold Jeff Carters stick with 9:07 left in the first. The Canadian were all over the ice, but Quick was up to the challenge keeping the game scoreless. USA got its first power play a couple minutes down the line when Marleau interfered with San Jose teammate Pavelski, with under 4 minutes in the first. The US couldn’t get much going and it remains 0-0.
Neither team could get a goal in the first 20, 0-0 with 40 to play.
2nd Period Keys:
USA: have to be more aggressive, need more pressure offensively
Canada: limit the turnovers in the offensive zone, keep peppering Quick
Canada opened up the scoring when Jamie Benn redirected a Jay Bouwmeester shot into the back of the net. Perry with a great screen on Quick who couldn’t tell if it was a shot by Bouwmeester or a pass. Can’t stop what you can’t see, 1-0 Canada 1:41 into the second period.
USA has a chance to equalize when they went to the power play, Getzlaf for #breakingdarulez high sticking Patrick Kane. Kane and Parise almost equalized on the power play when Parise redirected a Kane slap-pass but Price was ready.
Carey Price has been lights out so far along with Quick. Both teams have had quality chances turned away by the two goalies.
3rd Period Keys
USA: Goaltending, Quick has played so well now it is time to get a goal or two
Canada: Price has been lights out, unsustainably good. Need to pad the lead.
The third period hasn’t been much different than the first two. It has been mostly team Canada with team USA getting it’s chances. Carey Price has, like I said earlier, been lights out stopping a good redirect by JVR early in the third.
Blake Wheeler on what seemed like his first shift of the game, had a few chances.
USA falls to Canada 1-0, the goal they needed just never came. Credit to Carey Price who played lights out all game. USA will play for Bronze against Finland.
Also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S54Luk7hYjo