Blackhawks News

Olympic Semifinal Preview: USA Versus Canada

By Sean Fitzgerald

The stage has been set. Team USA will play Team Canada in the Semifinals of Olympic hockey tournament. The last time Team USA played Team Canada was in the Gold medal game in the 2010 Vancouver game.  The game was won by Sidney Crosby in OT for Team Canada. This is a painful fact that every Canadian reminds every American about constantly.

Team Canada has “struggled” this Olympics. Team Canada defeated Finland in shootout and barely escaped weaker teams in Norway, Austria, and Latvia twice.  The super team, Canada might have some weak spots in the armor. Their vaunted group of forwards has been relatively quiet. Crosby the most gifted player on Team Canada has ZERO goals and two assists in four games.  Most of the Canadian scoring has been coming for their defense in Shea Weber and Drew Doughty.  Team Canada recently suffered a loss. Jonathan Tavares was injured in the game against Latvia. It was announced later that day, Tavares would not return for the rest of the tournament.  Tavares is done for his NHL season with a Torn MCL.

On the other side of the ice, Team USA has been flying high. Team USA has only played in one close game. Their lone close game was an epic battle with Russia. They would go onto defeat Russia 2-1 in a shootout.  After the Russian Game TJ Oshie would become an American “Hockey” hero. Oshie embodied everything that USA stands for by saying that real hero wear cameo. The USA defeated Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic in convincing fashion this Olympic Games. The USA unlike Canada has no trouble scoring. The USA has scored 20 goals in four games and the tournaments leading scorer in Phil Kessel. In addition to great scoring, The USA has been getting some great goal tending from Jonathan Quick. Quick had this to say about the rematch, “We were destined and on crash course to face each other”. Fate would have it that these two teams would face off against each other. This time the USA has the upper hand coming in and has all the confidence in the world on their side.  Team USA views this as their chance. Captain Zach Parise echoed that sentiment, “I mean it’s a nice chance for redemption”.

Both teams know this game will not be easy and will not be a blow out, but both teams are ready! From the Blackhawks perspective, this is Patrick Kane’s chance to defeat Jonathon Toews. Toews has won Gold medals in 2005, 2006, with Canada U-17 Hockey Challenge, the 2007 World Junior Championship, and the 2010 Olympic Championship. Kane would be able to beat Toews for the first time ever in his career.

The game will be on NBC SN at 11am central and 12et. The winner will go onto the gold medal game.

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