To watch the game again, head over to CTVOlympics.ca.
I feel bad that my Olympic hangover was so big that I didn’t even blog about all of Canada’s 14 gold medal performances. We had an amazing showing at the 2010 Winter Olympics where we won lots of medals, but as a crazy Canadian hockey fan there are only 2 that *really* matter: men’s and women’s hockey.
After our girls shut out the US Women’s team 2-0 to claim gold, they cracked a few beers and smoked a couple cigars on the ice. Once the media circus calmed down, their focus moved (along with the pressure) to the Men’s team. In facing the USA in the gold medal game, Team Canada had the chance to not only become the first hockey team since “the miracle on ice” to win a gold nedal at home, but also to set a record for the most gold medals (14) won by a host country at the Winter Olympics.
February 28, 2010 will go down in history as one of the greatest hockey games of our generation. At 12:15 the puck dropped on what would be a historic game between Canada and the USA with the winner taking home the gold medal. There was no shortage of drama, afer the USA beat Canada in the opening round on their way to a berth in the semifinals, where they beat Finland. Canada’s route to the gold medal game went through Germany, Russia and Slovakia.
After a nervous star to the game, where Team Canada seemed to be on their heels, Canada finally opened the scoring when Jonathan Toews took a nice pass from Mike Richards and buried it behind American goalie Ryan Miller. The fans at Canada Hockey Place (and in pubs and living rooms across the country) erupted when the goal went in. The first period ended with a score of 1-0 for Canada.
The second period continued with some awesome back-and-forth play, with great scoring chances for both teams. It would be an understatement to say that Canada’s hockey fans got even louder when Corey Perry made it 2-0 Canada in the 2nd period. But the USA would not be outdone, and the ever-pesky Ryan Kesler brought Canadian hockey fans back to reality five minutes later when he scored on Canada’s Roberto Luongo with the help of Patrick “Taxicab” Kane.
The late 2nd period goal by Kesler sent the game into a tense 3rd period, where nobody Canadian was comfortable with the lead. This was definitely not like Salt Lake City, where Canada pulled away from the USA in the 3rd period cruising to a 5-2 victory. Team USA was very much in this game right to the end, and pulled off a miraculous comeback, tying the game at 2-2 with only 25 seconds left. After a scramble in Canada’s end, Zach Parise knocked the puck into the net, silencing 16.6 million people all at once. After a split second of silence, I believe the most common words uttered at that moment were, “Nooooooooooo!” and “Faaaaaaaaaaack!!!! Nooooooooooooo”
The game went into overtime, and was scheduled to have a shootout after 20 minutes if nobody scored. But the shootout would not be necessary. Canada came out in OT and played with a renewed vigor that the USA couldn’t match. After 7 minutes and 40 seconds of Canadian-dominated play, Jarome Iginla dug the puck off the boards and passed it to Sidney Crosby who was all alone in front of the US net. Without much time or space, he shot the puck and managed to squeak it past Miller. The red light went on, the horn sounded and Crosby threw his stick and gloves into the air at the same time as half the country jumped up and screamed for all we were worth. After being criticized for his less-than-superstar play throughout the tournament, Sid The Kid came through at a critical time and scored the OT winner. His goal handed Canada a hockey gold medal at home and sealed the record of 14 gold medals; the most ever won by a country at a Winter Olympics.
This was an historical Canadian moment and at least half of the country was watching when it happened. Television ratings set a record with 16.6 million Canadians watching, making it the highest ever for a sporting event. A total of 26.5 million (or 80% of Canadians) watched the gold medal game at one point. Iggy slipped the puck to Crosby who scored the game-winning goal and the whole country exploded. Trust me. I was there. If you don’t believe me, check out the 1:20 mark of the video below.
To see the effect that a game like this can have on us Canadians, check out this post about the water consumption in Edmonton during the game. The graph alone is enough to show you that we may drink a lot during the game, but we wait until intermission to go use the washroom.