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Team Canada Men’s Hockey Team Holds Onto Gold In Sochi

Team Canada Men's Hockey Team Holds Onto Gold In Sochi

I am sure it was tough for many of us to wake up or even stay up for that matter till 4:00 am to catch our men’s hockey team claim gold for a second straight year at the Winter Olympic Games. These games in Sochi marked the first time the men’s hockey team has won back-to-back gold medals since 1948 and 1952. Coming into these games Steve Yzerman, the coaching staff, and all the players who were finally announced on the roster were heavily scrutinized, faced with many tough decisions and even after the first game had been played, faced some challenges.

Up until the gold medal game much was being put into how Canada was unable to put the puck in the net, and that how our top name forwards were not scoring. In specific, most people were referring to Sidney Crosby and his inability to net a goal all tournament. Well folks that all changed against Sweden when our top guns came ready and loaded goals when we most needed them.

Against a Swedish team that was already decimated, the Canadians came out relentlessly and smelt blood right away. 57 seconds into the game Sidney Crosby batted a puck out of mid air and over to Patrice Bergeron who got a quality scoring chance against Henrik Lundqvist. Shortly after it was the Swedes who got a quality chance in the 1st period to open up the scoring when Gustav Nyquist walked out in front of Carey Price and hit the left post but fortunately Carey Price was able to find the puck behind him before it had the chance of crossing the goal line.

At 12:55 mark of the 1st period Canada netted the first goal. The line of Patrick Marleau, Jeff Carter, and Jonathan Toews scored the opening goal when Jeff Carter was able to find Toews open for a split second in front of Lundqvist and was able to get the puck past him to put the Canadians on the board.

The story continued to be the same as the Canadians continued to have quality scoring chances throughout the entire 2nd period while there were a couple close calls by the Swedes. Although Sidney Crosby had not scored all tournament long, the pride of Cole Harbour definitely picked the right time to score his 1st goal of the Olympics. At the 15:43 mark of the 2nd period Crosby blew by defencemen Alex Steen and was able to get a slick forehand to backhand move on Lundqvist making it 2-0 at that point.

It was in the final period where you could see that the Swedes were overwhelmed and missing some key contributors which eventually spelled the end for their gold medal dreams. Coming into the game Sweden had the best power play in the tournament, but were unable to crack Carey Price and the strong structural game plan of the Canadian D. All throughout the tournament the Canadians played a strong Defensive game, and with the lack of scoring from its forwards, it ultimately did not cost them any games. We saw how Shea Weber and Drew Doughty were able to create some create quality scoring chances all tournament long which added a whole new dimension to coach Babcock’s team.

With the game slowly and slowly starting to slip away from the Swedes, Chris Kunitz who was heavily scrutinized for being picked for this team because of his chemistry with Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby, stole the puck away from Daniel Sedin and was able to laser a shot past Henrik Lundqvist at the 9:04 mark of the 3rd period.

All tournament long the Canadians played a well executed game and with so many superstars on this team were able to gel well in a short manner of time, and were able to deliver Canada its 2nd straight men’s hockey Olympic gold medal. After seeing the women’s storm past the Americans to capture their own gold medal, this was just the perfect ending to another great Winter Olympics showing by the Canadians.

 

Written by: Hamed Amiri

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