In an ending befitting the caliber of play, in overtime, Canada beat the United States 3-2 in Olympic men’s hockey.
They provided their homeland with gold on home ice, and all of Canada erupted: Canada Hockey Place, Vancouver, and the country. Fans came spilling into the street celebrating a magnificent game and victory.
In a tight game with limited scoring, Canada’s Jonathon Toews scored the only goal in the first period. Early in the second, Corey Perry added a goal to make the score 2-0. About five minutes later, Ryan Kesler tightened the game up by putting in the United States first goal. The score stood at 2-1 until 30 seconds left in the third period. In desperation, the United States pulled their goalie and with 25 seconds left in the game Zach Parise scored the tying goal.
Canada’s leading man, Sidney Crosby, scored the game-winning goal 7:40 into overtime. Canada won the gold, and the United States won the silver. Ryan Miller, the outstanding goalie for the United States won the MVP. Finland won the bronze.
In late play the previous night Finland defeated Slovakia 5-3 for the bronze medal. Olli Jokinen accounted for two of the Finnish goals. The bronze medal game was marred by excessive penalties. A total of 16 penalties were called, accounting for 23 minutes of power play.
Canada has won the gold medal in men’s hockey eight times, but this is only the second one since 1952. They also won gold in 2002 in Salt Lake City, but this could be one of their biggest hockey gold medals as it came on home ice. In addition to hockey, Canada also won 13 other gold medals in this Olympics, the most gold medals ever won by a country in a single Winter Games.
The final in men’s hockey proved a perfect end to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Hockey fans everywhere are still reeling from the intense competition exhibited on the ice this afternoon. Unfortunately, there will never be a rematch of these two teams with these particular players. Fans will have to watch the reruns to recapture the intensity of the play. Bravo to the Canadian and United States men’s hockey teams, and to the other Olympians that participated in these games. So until 2014 and Sochi, Russia winter games, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, eh!