In a nail-biting hockey performance, Team USA defeated Canada 5-3 at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. With this win the US qualifies for the quarterfinals, while Canada must win in the next round against Germany to advance.
Going into the game, Canada was highly favored to win. Both teams boasted a complete lineup of NHL players making this an NHL all-star matchup, but Canada has beaten the US in 10 of the previous 15 games and had not lost in Olympic hockey play since 1960.
While hockey is a team sport and many players for the US put forth tremendous effort, this game goes to USA goalie Ryan Miller. Canada outshot the US 45-22, with 14 of those in the third period. With just minutes left in the third the Canadian team sent a flurry of shots towards Miller. The puck flew faster than the average eye could follow, and the US could not get the puck down the ice to give the goalie a breather. With lightning speed, Miller twisted and turned, sacrificing his body for block after block. Miller turned in an amazing goalie performance.
Blocking the goal is not enough; Team USA also needed to score, and led by defenseman Brian Rafalski, they did. He scored two goals and an assist. His first goal came just 41 seconds into the game, and he scored again approximately nine minutes later. With the score tied at 2-2 late in the second period Chris Drury scored to put the US up by one going into the third period. With an assist from Rafalski, Jamie Langenbrunner deflected in a goal in the third to give the US a two-goal advantage. Canada’s Sidney Crosby added a power play score to bring the Canadians within one goal. Ryan Kesler sealed the game with an empty net goal late in the third, which quieted the mostly Canadian crowd. They sat stunned as the hometown favorite lost.
United States, Russia, Sweden, and Finland are guaranteed have already qualified for the quarterfinals. Even though Finland lost to Sweden in a late game last night 3-0, they have more points than the Canadian and Czech Republic teams. The remaining eight will need to play a single elimination round to make the quarterfinals. The elimination round will be played on Tuesday, and the quarterfinals will begin on Wednesday.