|Posted on February 21, 2014 at 9:05 PM|
Team Canada has advanced to the gold medal game in men's hockey at the Sochi Olympics, beating the U.S. 1-0 in Friday's semifinal.
A second period goal by Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars was all Canada needed to move on the gold medal game Sunday against Sweden.
Before this Olympic tournament started there was a great debate about who Canada should start in goal? Goaltending was perceived to be a position of weakness for the Canadian team. Whoever made the decision that Cary Price would be the man to lead them to glory, that guy is a genius.
On a team that has had trouble scoring the goaltenders play is put under an even larger microscope. Cary Price turned away 31 shots to record an Olympic shutout. In a game that proved just how close the measure of skill is between rivals U.S. and Canada in the beloved sport of hockey. I was holding my breath for the entire game. In a contest of this magnitude every take off the clock matters,
Right from the opening face-off the Americans tried to utilize their speed; Phil Kessel a standout in this tournament, cut to the net from the right wing boards and took one of his patented snap shots, but was turned aside by Price.
It was this play that made Canada zone-in mentally and realize we have to stick to the game plan and stop the speed.
What gave team Canada the advantage in such a close contest was their ability to fore-check to keep the puck out of the hands of the dangerous American snipers that had no trouble scoring earlier in the tournament.
Canada's cycle game was textbook hockey!
My concern with Canada going into the gold medal game against Sweden is: Can we continue to win like this? Playing keep away and good defensive hockey? When will our elite offense have show up? Only four forwards for Canada have registered goals, Jeff Carter, Jamie Benn, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Sharp.
At the end of the day, everybody in Canada is only concerned about winning gold in hockey. I will be happy with whatever game plan the Canadians use on Sunday as long as we come home winners. Today, is a good day, beating our rival Americans by the narrowest of margins using the most complete team game I've seen in a while to get the job done.
They say defense wins championships.
Canada is one win away, let's go boys!