Team Canada defeated Team USA in an intense, hard fought, but low scoring game, and the North American Olympic rivalry adds another great chapter, to it’s growing history.
A tight, high energy, back and forth 1st period yielded no goals, for either team, however the edge would have to go to Canada. Each team had a chance on their respective Power Play, but neither was able to score. Team Canada generated some high quality chances, on their Power Play, when Ryan Suter was in the Penalty Box, for Team USA, but the Americans were able to put up a very solid Penalty Kill, to thwart Canada’s chances.
Team USA would get their chance on the Power Play, but weren’t even able to muster up one shot on goal, which lead to an easy Penalty Kill, for Team Canada. Shots on goal favored Team Canada 16-11, after the 1st period, but the score was still 0-0, as both teams went to their respective locker rooms, for the intermission.
Unlike the 1st period, the 2nd period wasted no time in putting the scoreboard to work. Jamie Benn was able to bury a deflection, from a Jay Bouwmeester shot, to give Team Canada a 1-0 lead, early in the 2nd period. Opportunity would come knocking, for Team USA, as Patrick Kane was able to draw a penalty, from Ryan Getzlaf, to give the Americans a chance to even the game, on the man advantage. However, that would not happen, as Team USA struggled to move the puck, and although they generated a shot on goal, they were unable to take advantage, of the man advantage.
Team Canada would generate even-strength scoring opportunities, only to be stopped cold, by stellar play from Team USA goaltender, Jonathan Quick. Another opportunity would land in the laps, of the Americans, as Chris Kunitz took a trip to the Penalty Box, and once again, Team USA was unable to find the back of the net, on the Power Play. Canada would hold on to the 1-0 lead, into the 2nd intermission, thanks to Benn’s goal, excellent goaltending from Carey Price, and superb Penalty Killing.
More tight back and forth play would continue, in the 3rd period, with desperation beginning to set in, a little too late, for Team USA. It took nearly 10 minutes for the Americans to start generating any legitimate pressure, and if they did it was constantly being stopped, quickly, by the intensely stingy defensive play, from Team Canada. With about a minute to go, Team USA sent Quick to the bench, in favor of an extra skater, but the move proved to be fruitless, as Team Canada was able to survive, and move on, with a 1-0 victory, over Team USA.
Who would have thought that this would be a 1-0, defensive/goalie game, between these two neighboring rivals? However, it was none-the-less very exciting and tense, throughout the entire game. Canada deserved to win, this game, and the game shouldn’t have been as close as it was, really. Jonathan Quick kept Team USA, in the game, throughout it’s entirety.