Olympic Hockey: Canada, US Battle For Gold

USA Flag vsCanadian Flag

 

The Matchup: Team USA (5-0-0-0) faces off against Team Canada (4-1-1-0). This is the second meeting between the two teams in the Olympic tournament.

The Last Team USA Game: The U.S. scored six goals in the opening 12:46 to defeat Finland, 6-1, in their semifinal matchup Friday afternoon. Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) scored two goals, and Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils) added a goal in the victory. Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres) finished with 18 saves before being replaced at 8:49 in the third period.

The Last Team Canada Game: Team Canada scored three early goals and held on to defeat TeamSlovakia, 3-2, in their semifinal matchup Friday night. Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks), Brenden Morrow (Dallas Stars) and Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) all scored for Canada. Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks) finished with 19 saves.

The Last Team USA – Team Canada Game: Team USA and Team Canada squared off in their final round robin game before the elimination rounds last Sunday. It was a back and forth affair until Chris Drury (New York Rangers) scored a goal at 16:46 of the second period. Jamie Langenbrunner (New Jersey Devils) scored the game winner with a powerplay goal at 7:09 of the third period. Miller finished with 42 saves in the win.

Today’s Matchup: When these teams last met, Team Canada was able to constantly attack Team USA’s defense. It seemed as if the Canadian’s spent most of the game in Team USA’s zone. Miller had to be phenomenal, and it was his effort that kept the Americans in the game. Without Miller’s play, the US wouldn’t have survived that game. The Americans were also aided by Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils), who didn’t play his greatest game.

But now the team takes on a different beast. By changing a few lines and putting in Luongo, Canada seems to have found their stride. Both teams are playing the underdog card, but the Americans are still overmatched. In this battle of all-star lineups, Canada seems to have better chemistry with their lines. But you can never bet against a hot goaltender and a confident, brash young team. This will, once again, be a dogfight until the end. But I can see both teams hoisting gold medals after the final buzzer.

The game will be on NBC at 3:15 p.m.

 

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