Courtesy: Oh Canada
Congrats to Montreal’s Benoit Huot, who nabbed Canada’s first medal of the Paralympic games in swimming – and a gold no less!
Medal Count: 1
Well, it’s over. And Canada came in 13th place with 18 medals. 1 Gold, 5 Silver and 12 bronze. I guess you could say that the Olympic Theme this year was the 3rd Place Games. There were plenty of mistakes on many fronts. Disqualifications, losses, cheaters and a few fuck ups.
Canada does not excel at Summer Games. Our forte lies in our Winter capabilities. Own the Podium will have to work real hard for Sochi in 2014. We just could not get out of that 3rd place funk. We fell seriously short on Own the Podium. At least one athlete won Gold.
You learn a lot about other countries and how they groom their athletes. You also see how countries differ in their treatment of male and female athletes. It is quite shameful how some Middle Eastern Countries scorned their competing women. Just shameful.
Great Britain came in 4th place with 29 Gold, 17 Silver, and 19 Bronze for a total of 65 medals for the Host Country. As the host country, there were many flaws in the games when it came to refs, timers, rules and infractions. Some teams really got screwed over rules enforced and rules that were overlooked for others. Canada got screwed several times over. You live and you learn.
So that’s my take on the Olympics …
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It was an uneventful weekend. It rained here and there. They say that rain is in the forecast for the next few days so I packed an umbrella in my bag tonight before leaving the house for the meeting. It rained during the meeting and then the skies cleared for the walk home.
We continued reading from Experience, Strength and Hope and the story called “Join the Tribe” about an Indian who is lost in the thick of alcoholism and how he finds his way into the rooms. This story is written in simple lay man’s terms quite a departure from how we read English.
“Miracles happen all time in A.A. Two years later, my brother take Tall Man to first A.A. Meeting. Tall Man was blind, but soon he see. He stay sober. Start group on reservation and carry message, help start groups all over Maritimes and New England. He was old, but now he grow young with new life in A.A. and travel all the time.
When he speak from heart, big men cry. Words of truth and love are strong medicine. Tall man die five years ago, a sober, peaceful, happy man…
To find work, I have travel much. At every place, I find A.A. group first. I keep it simple; go to many meetings; carry message to those who listen. To me, program is spiritual. I feel Great Spirit at all meetings and when talk to A.A. friends. I know peace. “How?” they ask me
I say, “Just let it happen.” This sober Indian say to sick, red eyed alcoholic who want good medicine: “Put cork in bottle. No drunk hopeless if he want to follow guide along right trail. Go to A.A. meetings. Listen, not just hear noise. Get sponsor and phone numbers. Call friends in A.A. when bad thoughts come. Let group spirit of love and understanding protect you. Take my hand. Walk with me up Twelve Steps of A.A. to peace.
To Indians, I say: “Don’t be afraid to join A.A. I once hear people say only Indians crazy when drunk. If so, A.A. full of Indians. Join the tribe!”
I’ve been in this mode of just letting things happen. I don’t know, I just feel like I am supposed to be somewhere other than where I am at the moment, and I have asked some friends to weigh in on this dilemma that I find myself in.
But keep it simple stupid. Let it happen. And life will take its course as it always does.
More to come, stay tuned…
The Canadian Press
LONDON – Rosie MacLennan sang along, trying to hold back tears, as “O Canada” was played for the first time at the London Olympics.
She had just been through a excruciating 10-minute wait to see if her dazzling women’s trampoline routine would hold up against two seasoned veterans from China. It wasn’t until defending champion He Wenna stumbled at the end of her routine that MacLennan knew she had clinched Canada’s first gold medal at these Games.
“It’s exciting and honestly it’s still a bit surreal,” MacLennan said.
And the excitement continued. With Ryan Cochrane ‘s silver in the men’s 1,500-metre freestyle and a bronze on the cycling track in women’s pursuit, it was clear Canada had its Olympic swagger back.
Canada remained solidly on track to finish top 12 in total medals in London. Through eight days Canada has 10 medals — one gold, three silver and six bronze — and sits 11th in the overall standings.
Saturday’s medal hat trick came at a pivotal time as the Games reached its halfway point. Canada had performed well, but the coveted gold medal remained elusive heading into Day 8 in London. And the optimistic mood from a string of early successes was in danger of turning sour after a disappointing Day 7 saw three medal hopefuls come up short.
It looked like it might be another rough day when Edmonton’s Paula Findlay placed last among finishers in women’s triathlon. A heartbroken Findlay was in tears as she crossed the finish line, repeatedly saying “I’m sorry.”
But as MacLennan’s soaring routine earned her a personal-best score of 57.305, the country’s Olympic future looked brighter.
“I was shocked. It’s the biggest score that I’ve ever gotten,” MacLennan said. “I knew it would be a tough one to catch. But you never want to get ahead of yourself. You want to wait until all the competitors are done.”
Teammate Karen Cockburn turned to MacLennan and told her that her score was a winner.
MacLennan wasn’t so sure.
“I didn’t want to get too ahead of myself,” the native of King City, Ont., said.
But Chinese favourites Huang Shanshan and He couldn’t reach the impressive bar set by MacLennan, and Canada topped the podium for the first time in London. Huang and He won silver and bronze respectively.
Cockburn, from Stouffville, Ont., just missed adding to her trophy case with a fourth-place finish. She had won medals in the last three Olympics.
Instead it was MacLennan’s time in the spotlight as she vastly improved on her seventh-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games.
“Rosie was really strong, her score was huge,” Cockburn said. “The other gymnasts could feel the heat after her score. I wasn’t really surprised that she won. We pushed each other hard in training, I’m really happy for her.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated MacLennan in a statement.
“Through her hard work, dedication and sportsmanship, Rosie has proudly represented Canada on the world stage,” he said.
Canada’s best day so far in London continued when Cochrane took silver in the gruelling men’s 1,500 freestyle, giving Canada at least two swimming medals for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Cochrane, who won bronze in the event two years ago, held off defending Olympic champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia and finished in a personal-best time of 14 minutes 39.63 seconds.
“It was a tough fight the last 100 metres,” Cochrane said. “I was going to fight, probably to the death, to make sure he didn’t get his hand on the wall first.”
Cochrane was certainly happy to win a medal, but he said he had his sights set higher.
“It’s a double-edge sword because I wanted to be vying for that world record,” he said. “I wanted to be five seconds faster. I think I did underestimate how hard the mental side of this meet would be.”
China’s Sun Yang beat his own world record to claim gold in 14:31.02.
On the cycling track, Tara Whitten of Edmonton, Gillian Carleton of Victoria and Jasmin Glaesser of Coquitlam, B.C., finished the team pursuit bronze-medal race in three minutes 17.915 seconds. Australia was timed in 3:18.096.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Glaesser said. “We know they start off fast but we knew it was going to come down to the last lap. It was a challenge but we were 100 per cent committed to do our best.”
Britain won gold in a world-record time of 3.14.051. The United States took silver.
In other Canadian results:
— Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., finished sixth overall in women’s heptathlon. Brianne Theisen of Humboldt, Sask., finished 10th.
— Cameron Levins of Campbell River, B.C., finished 11th in the men’s 10,000 metres. Mohammed Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., finished 18th.
— Toronto natives Alex Bruce and Michelle Li fell 21-9, 21-10 to Russia to finish fourth in women’s doubles badminton.
— Canada’s men’s table tennis team fell to Japan 3-0 in a first-round match.
— Zach Bell of North Vancouver, B.C., was ninth overall after the first day of the men’s track cycling omnium.
— Justyn Warner of Markham, Ont., advanced to the men’s 100 semifinals with a third-place finish in his heat. His personal-best time of 10.09 seconds matched world record holder Usain Bolt — although Bolt easily won his heat.
— Melanie Blouin of Quebec City finished tied for ninth place with a result of 4.25 metres in her women’s pole vault group to miss out on Monday’s final.
— Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., and Emilie Heymans of St-Lambert, Que., both advanced to the women’s three-metre springboard diving final. Abel was fourth in qualifying with 353.25 points while Heymans followed in eighth with 331.35.
— Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., had a clean run through the first qualifier to match 31 other riders at equestrian’s individual jumping competition. Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., knocked down one gate for four points. Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ont., also knocked down a gate and had a time penalty point for five, while Tiffany Foster, also of Schomberg, knocked down two gates for eight points.
You know we just can’t get enough of Tom. The hopes of all Britain are on your shoulders young man. No pressure at all …
Courtesy: The Ministry of Pleasure
I ran across this post on a blog that I read from London. It is an important post on many levels. That bullying comes on all sides and that no one is immune, even an Olympic Athlete. Tom is a great young man who is deserving of respect and hopefully those kids who wanted to do him harm will stand up and recognize that greatness was within their midst.
The Olympics have begun now going on day three on Monday. We wish Tom well and all the Olympians that are competing. So enjoy …
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So the final countdown has started, just under 24 hours left before the XXX Olympiad, let me present you Thomas Robert “Tom” Daley, the boy wonder of British diving.
As you can see, I’ve done a bit of remodeling for the Olympics in London 2012. It is time to cheer for the home team and await that first gold medal where we will hear our National Anthem played for the Gold Medal Winner.
It always makes me cry when I hear it played at an Olympic Competition.
We will be going to full time Live Blogging as much Olympic coverage as I can keep up with over the span of the games. So if you aren’t sporty – you will learn to love sport as I love sport. And there is no greater pride than for ones country.
Since I hold dual citizenship, I cheer on both the Americans and the Canadians. But my heart is firmly ensconced in Canada and always will be. But in any case we will cheer on ALL the athletes just the same for the sheer fact that they worked so hard to get here and they deserve all of our pride and love.
The Opening Ceremonies begin here in Canada at 4 p.m. EST in Montreal. We will have full pictorial coverage of the ceremony courtesy of CTV the national network bringing the games home to Canada.
So stay tuned. It will be exciting.
The other night on Discovery Science they showed a “show” about Sneakers and the BIG business they generate world wide. From how they are designed and made and why sneakers are a special commodity. It isn’t just a simple “I think we’ll make some sneakers. Let’s do this …
No, lots of design and thought go into the shoes we wear by men and women who go to great pain and art to design the perfect shoe for every foot. It even gets scientific. Scientists study feet, on high end test machines to determine what kind of shoes you really need because of how your feet are formed and what kind of shoe you need.
I am of the mind that one can never have too many shoes. Some of them I wear, and some of them I collect. Some of them come and go on Ebay because I am a keen collector of the best shoes on the market.
They had a segment on the “Bodega.” An underground, word of mouth, secret store, they are far and few between located in certain cities around the world. They deal in HIGH END sneakers and only invite those who know about it to partake in the mega business of shoe buying and selling. It was fantabulous.
I am always on the lookout for the next big score. Social media plays an integral part in getting the word out about this business. Shoe companies produce specialty shoes only sent to those “specialty stores” and not for the open market.
One off’s or Two off’s. And you would never know where that shoe came from or how many are out there and it is a buyers market for all things shoes. This is a multi-million dollar enterprise.
There are even graffiti artists and music jammers and artists by trade that make and influence how shoes are made, styled and sold. There are special underground shoe events held in key cities around the globe to show off these new creations. Shoes that are not available for mass consumption. And IF by chance you get to one of these events, you too could score a really great pair of shoes that the general public will never get to buy. And have never seen before.
Tumblr is a great vehicle for product placement. People share images of fashion, shoes, art, and jewelry, tattoos, and piercings. They run the gamut. I might see something come across the wire and then I go on a hunt for a certain product. Which leads to an “Alice in Wonderland” hunt down the rabbit hole to find a purveyor of whatever I am looking for.
Like the Nike high Dunks. I saw them in an image that is on the blog. I wanted a pair and I started with a Google search for a photo. Which lead to a website, which led to a store that sells high end sneakers. Those One Off’s you might never see anywhere else. Usually if they are on a website, for sale, there is a good chance that they will appear on Ebay. I’ve had huge success with cross referencing website sold merchandise over to Ebay site sales.
And usually the prices on Ebay are at least 10 percent cheaper than website sales and shipping is usually cheaper as well. So you get a deal.
A few weeks ago I was walking through Westmount Square and I was in the tunnel going to a meeting and I always look to see what kind of kicks people are wearing because you never know when you are going to see something you like. And this guy was wearing the same Nike High Dunks, which leads me to believe that high end sneakers are available here in Montreal.
There are numerous shoe stores in the city, in the malls and in these small hole in the wall shops that sell “one off” shoes amid souvenirs and hockey jerseys. It would take forever to find a specialty shop in the city without a Google reference.
Google is a great tool when you want to find something particular IF there is an image of it in the data base. Because usually an image will lead you to a source. But not necessarily in the city you live in. I’ve never tracked a product to this city in particular.
Which leads me all the way back around to another purchase. I am a huge fan of the Adidas Response wrestling shoes. I wear them at the gym, they are stylish and comfortable. I own 4 pair in varying colors and styles. The ones pictured above are on my radar because I once owned a pair of these at one time, but for some stupid reason I decided to sell them on Ebay a couple of years ago.
Now you know, that certain shoes are only made for a certain season. Wrestling shoes come out every fall. And every year the haul differs by maker, style, colorway and price. Adidas had their hey day over the last few wrestling seasons and the response line that I collect has since been retired. They aren’t making these style of shoes any more. And they are very hard to come by unless you find a source and pay a hefty price for them. The shops I buy from don’t carry the response line that I like and only carry a handful of colorways on clearance prices. The new responses are very different than these.
I had, over the last year, seen this same exact pair go up on the Ebay Market for $250.00 a pair.
Now, the only wrestling shoe that I know of that commands that kind of price are any of the Sydney E.Q.T 2000 wrestling shoes in several colorways. The grey and blue, the Olympic Gold white and blue and the Olympic Silver and Blue colorways. A few years ago I scored a pair of Sydney Golds. When I turned them around and put them on the market for sale I got $250.00 for them. Athletes pay top dollar for high performance shoes for their tournaments.
The other day I was hunting. And I came across a steal. These same Adidas Response Blue/White colorway were for sale for a nominal price. A price that I paid retail for a few years back for the same shoe. They are a one off bid. And only one pair available in several different sizes and they carry a couple of different colorways that aren’t made any longer.
Like I said, the line was retired.
So tomorrow when the bids close, I will have scored a brand new pair of responses for $55.00 U.S. plus shipping. Which is a hefty deal since these shoes can now run, for collectors, in the hundreds of dollars each.
One must be wiley when it comes to Ebay. You might get a hit one week, and not see another hit for months or even a year’s time. You start looking around the end of September and the beginning of October for wrestling shoes from the odd seller here or there, because they sometimes put on offer, shoes you can’t find anywhere else. And you can usually get your hands on a great pair of shoes for a deal.
I don’t shop retail locally for the most part. Most of my shoe collection came by way of Ebay or the odd store I shop from online. From work boots, to combat boots, to sneakers, to winter boots. The last time I made a shoe purchase here in the city I paid upwards of $150.00 for a pair of 20 hole Dock Martens in a specialty shop here in the city. And I rarely wear them except in the winter when it snows.
Wrestling season is upon us and the new styles and colorways are out on the market. The new styles are sleek, colorful and come in a varying style of shoe both on the Adidas and Asics market. If you are looking for a deal then this is the time to go looking for them.
Specialty stores have colorways that can’t be found anyplace else so be on the lookout for that special shoe you want. And they are usually a One Off sale.
So that is my missive on High End shoes…
He waited until the final moment – with Canada teetering on the brink of a national panic attack – before Sidney Crosby put his mark on this game, this gold medal, this emerging legacy.
Timing as they say is everything.
In a game for the ages, it was Crosby – the leader of Canada’s Generation Next – who scored the golden goal 7:40 into overtime, leading Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team to a thrill-a-minute 3-2 victory over their arch rivals from the United States.
Crosby, who was 14 and watching Canada’s 2002 Olympic championships on television, played give-and-go with one of the key players on that team, Jarome Iginla, to score the winning goal and salvage a game that was hanging in the balance.
On the play, Crosby gave the puck to Iginla deep in the U.S. zone and then drove hard to the net. Iginla – with U.S. defenceman Ryan Suter draped across his back – heard Crosby call out ‘Iggy’ and passed it back. Crosby shot the puck without looking. Magically, it found its way between the pads of goaltender Ryan Miller, ending the tense drama and sending the capacity crowd at Canada Hockey Place into paroxysms of joy.
Afterwards, Crosby said he didn’t even see the puck enter the net. He only knew it was in when he heard the crowd roar.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Crosby. “To have a chance to score in overtime, here in Canada, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Crosby had had a relatively quiet tournament by his standards, fitting in nicely as a piece of the puzzle on a team that relied on balanced scoring, mostly from its emerging young nucleus. It was fitting therefore that Crosby saved the best for last.
“Guys like that find a way,” said defenceman Chris Pronger.
It was Canada’s eighth Olympic gold medal overall in men’s hockey and they became the first to win on home ice since the U.S. did it in 1980′s ‘Miracle On Ice.’
Crosby was one of a handful of players who had a chance to put the game away in regulation. Canada nursed a 2-1 lead into the final minute of play; prior to that, Crosby had been denied on a breakaway with about three minutes to go and both Pronger and Shea Weber hit the post early in the third period.
Normally, in the rhythm of any hockey game, too many missed chances at one end translate into a goal at the other – and yesterday was no exception. With 25 seconds remaining in regulation; Canada getting set for a celebration; and goaltender Ryan Miller on the bench for a sixth attacker, the U.S. tied the game on a goal by Zach Parise. The sequence was potentially heart-breaking: Patrick Kane’s shot deflected off Jamie Langenbrunner’s skate right to Parise, who skated across the front of the goal crease and tucked a shot past goaltender Roberto Luongo.
To be so close to the championship – and then needing to return for four-on-four overtime – was just the final test in what had been a pressure-packed two weeks for the Canadian team. Thanks to Crosby, they survived.
According to centre Ryan Getzlaf, there wasn’t a lot said in the Canadian dressing room during the 15-minute intermission.
“Our guys did a great job – the leaders we have in that room – of staying poised and getting it done in the end,” said Getzlaf, who almost missed the Olympics because of an ankle injury suffered the week before the Games started. In the end, Getzlaf proved to be one of Canada’s most important contributors, setting up the second goal – by Corey Perry – that for the longest time looked as if it would be the game winner.
“I knew that Canada had a very good chance of winning the gold medal,” said Getzlaf, “and I wanted to be part of it. I was fortunate enough that the hockey gods blessed me to get that foot better and be back for the tournament.”
Getzlaf played with Crosby on Canada’s 2005 world junior hockey championship team.
“That’s Sid for you,” said Getzlaf. “There’s a reason he’s the best player in the world. He always shows up in those big moments and scores those big goals.”
It was a wonderfully played game on many levels – close-and-tight checking to start, with strong goaltending at both ends throughout. The nerves and what players like to call the “compete” level were at a fever pitch throughout. There was a moment when the cameras caught Iginla smiling on the bench after a particularly hard shift, talking to Crosby. Could it really have been fun too?
“We’d been talking together all tournament as a line – and communicating with each other,” said Iginla. On the winning goal, according to Iginla, Crosby “was yelling pretty urgently. There are different pitches of yells; this was loud.
“Sid, he just keeps going. He could have scored on that breakaway in regulation, but he’s a positive guy, and it was awesome to see it go in.”
A sentiment that was seconded all across Canada Sunday.
Images Credit: Getty Images onYahoo
“I just shot it,” he told CTV. “I didn’t really see it to be honest.”
It’s Canada’s 14th gold of the Vancouver Games, breaking the record for most gold medals at a Winter Olympics. The Soviet Union, in 1976, and Norway, in 2002, each won 13.
That forced a 20-minute sudden-death overtime, played four-on-four.
The gold was Canada’s eighth in men’s hockey at the Games — and the first since Team Canada defeated the host U.S. 5-2 at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The Canadian women’s team won hockey gold Thursday, defeating the U.S. 2-0.
A wild end to regulation time saw Miller pulled with an extra attacker with 1:30 left to play.
Parise, the Americans’ best forward in the tournament, tied the game and forced OT as Kane’s shot went off Jamie Langenbrunner‘s skate to the front of the net where Parise slipped it past Luongo.
Toews and Perry spotted Canada a 2-0 lead before Kesler scored on a deflection in the second period for the U.S.
The packed stands at Canada Hockey Place were like a giant party for flag- and sign-waving revellers dressed in Canadian red and white.
The Canadian men did it in a game that outmatched even a Stanley Cup final in pace and ferocity, as thundering hits were made on both sides and the NHL referees mostly kept their whistles in their pockets and let them battle.
As in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Canada took gold in both men’s and women’s hockey — this time in the first Olympic tournament held on the smaller NHL-size ice surface.
The Canadian team looked to be in trouble after losing 5-3 to the U.S. in their final preliminary round game a week earlier.
But as they did in Salt Lake, they improved with each game and found the cohesion and intensity to claw their way into the final and a chance to avenge the loss to the fast but less skilled Americans and their quick-legged Miller, who took a 1.04 goals-against average into the final.
The U.S. win in round-robin play forced Canada to play an extra elimination round game. Even though that was an easy 8-2 win over German, the sense was that the youthful American team would be fresher in the third period of the final and they were.
But in a wild third, Canada’s Shea Weber and Chris Pronger hit goalposts in the first two minutes, Dany Heatley just failed to lift a puck over sprawled Miller 10 minutes in, and Crosby, held without a point in the final three games, lost the handle on the puck on a late breakaway thanks to determined backchecking from Kane.
At the other end, Luongo held his ground and the defence kept shooters out of the goal area in a bid to preserve the win.
The opening minutes of the game saw heavy hitting from both sides, particularly U.S. defenceman Brooks Orpik who nearly put Heatley into the players bench, but Canada did not allow the Americans to establish pressure in their zone.
Toews connected 12:50 into the game as the Chicago centre and Mike Richards combined to win battles for the puck near the net against Erik Johnson and Paul Stastny and Richards pushed it to Toews for high shot from in close.
It was the first of the tournament for perhaps Canada’s most consistent forward and marked the first time the U.S. had trailed in a game.
Canada had just completed its first penalty kill when Ryan Getzlaf skated into the U.S. and zone and saw his pass go off Ryan Whitney‘s skate to Perry alone in front for a quick shot and his fourth goal at 8:25.
Just as the flag and sign-waving crowd began to party in the seats, the U.S. struck back as Kane snapped a shot that went off the shaft of Kesler’s stick and trickled through Luongo’s equipment at 12:44.
Between periods, Kesler told a TV interviewer he felt his Vancouver teammate Luongo was fighting the puck, as he had in previous games.
Canada became the first country to win hockey gold on home ice since the American Miracle On Ice team from the 1980 Games in Lake Placid.
It was a first loss at these Games for the Americans. The last hockey team to go undefeated at the Olympics was the Soviet Union, which was 5-0 in Calgary in 1988.
Both referees Bill McCreary and Dan O’Halloran, as well as linesman Jean Morin are Canadian. The other linesman was Stefan Fonselius of Finland.
The full house was also packed with celebrities, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, singers Neil Young and Bryan Adams, actors William Shatner and Vince Vaughn, and from the sports world, golfer Mike Weir and hockey greats Gordie Howe and Mark Messier.
Notes— It was the 17th meeting between Canada and the U.S. in Olympic history. Canada leads the series (10-3-3)… Coach Mike Babcock wore his lucky McGill University tie for the game. He is (5-2) all-time with the tie, with both losses in overtime… In the pre-game warmup, Crosby stopped to tie a skate lace and his former Pittsburgh teammate, American Ryan Malone, slid a couple pucks toward him to try to hit his gloves on the ice. Malone smiled, Crosby didn’t react.
CANADA WINS GOLD !!! Sudden Death Overtime Crosby for the WIN !!!! Canada 3 U.S.A. 2 … Canadian Gold Medalist(s) #14
Canada is once again on top of the hockey world as they have defeated the United States 3-2 in overtime in the gold medal game at the Olympic hockey tournament.
Sidney Crosby was the overtime hero as he beat Ryan Miller mid-way through the extra-frame.
While Roberto Luongo was criticized prior to the tournament for his lack of big game experience, he has likely silenced those doubters as he made 34 saves in the victory.
Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry also scored for Canada, while Ryan Kesler and Zach Parise responded for the United States.
The win secures Canada’s 14th gold medal at the Games, setting an all-time Olympic record.
Along with the gold medal, Canada was also able to regain bragging rights on continental supremacy after the Americans beat Team Canada 5-3 earlier in the tournament.
It is a jam packed house at Canada Hockey Place that was littered with Canadian-born celebrities like Neil Young, Michael J. Fox, Bryan Adams, William Shatner and Prime Minister Stephen Harper sporting his Canada jersey.
They were treated to a fast-paced and hard-hitting encounter between a pair of rivals who know each other very well.
Canada drew first blood as Mike Richards separated Erik Johnson from the puck with a strong forechecking effort. Ryan Miller kicked out Richards shot but Jonathan Toews was there to bury the rebound for his first of the tournament to send a packed house at Canada Hockey Place into a frenzy.
The bad blood nearly boiled over at the end of the period as Jack Johnson drilled Corey Perry into the boards after the final buzzer. Ryan Getzlaf did not like that one bit as he went back at Johnson. The referees had to break up a skirmish as both teams headed to the dressing room with Canada holding a one-goal advantage.
Perry got his revenge on the scoreboard as adding to Canada’s lead in the second period. After killing off a penalty to Eric Staal, Canada went on the attack as Getzlaf lofted a backhander at the American net. Miller kicked out a rebound directly into the path of Perry who hammered home his fourth goal of the tournament, giving Canada a two-goal advantage.
That would be short-lived as the Americans were able to respond late in the period thanks to the quick hands of Kesler in front as he tipped Patrick Kane’s shot past his Vancouver Canucks’ teammate Luongo to pull the United States within a goal.
With all the momentum behind them, the Americans buzzed around Luongo’s net with Ryan Suter coming close to equalizing with a backhanded effort that just trickled wide.
Canada came out flying in the final frame, nearly adding to their lead with less than a minute in as both Shea Weber and Chris Pronger drives beat Miller but found iron instead of glory.
The Canadians continued to heap on the offensive pressure as Dany Heatley had a great chance to give Canada a two-goal lead, but was denied twice by Miller at the side of the net.
Sidney Crosby had a great opportunity to salt this one away with just over three minutes remaining as he was sprung on a break. Miller was equal to the task once again to keep his team in this one.
With just over a minute remaining, American head coach Ron Wilson called a time-out to rally his troops and pull Miller from the net.
The gambit paid off as Parise was able to beat Luongo to silence the crowd and send this epic encounter to overtime.
Canada had the better chances in overtime, but once again Ryan Miller has continued his stellar play, robbing Jarome Iginla and Rick Nash on great scoring opportunities.
But Miller’s luck ran out as Crosby was able to shovel home his fourth of the tournament to secure the victory and give the country the golden moment they had been waiting for.
Canada reached rare heights Saturday, becoming only the third country to win 13 gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games.
A new mark for Winter Olympics will be set Sunday if Canada beats the United States for men’s hockey gold.
An Olympics that had a stuttering start for the host nation gained yet more momentum Saturday on what was the first three-gold day in Canada’s Winter Games history. The men’s long-track team of Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux kicked it off by beating the United States at the Richmond Oval. Minutes later Jasey-Jay Anderson staged a dramatic comeback in the second leg of the Parallel Giant Slalom final to win gold.
And then Kevin Martin’s rink beat Norway 6-3 in the men’s curling final.
The only previous countries to win 13 gold in a Winter Games were the Soviet Union in 1976 and Norway in 2002.
The 13 gold medals is also a record for a host nation, breaking the previous mark of 10 set by the United States and Norway.
Canada seems certain to end the Games with 26 medals. Lyndon Rush’s sled won a bronze Saturday in four-man bobsleigh. That’s a record, two more than the 24 won in Turin four years ago.
VANCOUVER — Kevin Martin redeemed his last rock miss in Salt Lake City by winning gold on home soil Saturday, beating Norway 6-3. The gold medal was the third for Canada on a banner second-last day.
Martin never trailed in the draw, building a 3-0 lead before watching Norway cut it back to one at 3-2. Martin then played a perfect draw in the seventh to make it 5-2. A draw in the ninth stretched the lead to three and allowed Martin to match the feat of Brad Gushue in Turin 2006 and claim back-to-back Olympic gold for Canada.
Watch a replay of the gold medal winning performance here.
END 1: Martin blanked the first end to retain last rock. Canada 0, Norway 0.
END 2: Martin with last rock, playing the red stones. Morris clears the yellow Norwegian stones with a highlight triple takeout. Ulsrud forces Martin to draw for one. Canada 1, Norway 0.
END 3: Norway blanks a wide-open third end and retains the hammer. Canada 1, Norway 0.
END 4: Ulsrud misses a draw to the button and Martin steals one. Last rock stays with Norway. Television commentators blame the miss on a brushing error. Canada 2, Norway 0.
END 5: Morris in on fire, another double-takeout. Fist pumps everywhere. Ulsrud misses a double-takeout attempt of his own. The crowd awakens with a Go Canada Go. Martin steals one again. Canada 3, Norway 0.
END 6: We’re back. The break seems to have revived Ulsrud, who is back in the game with a deuce. Canada takes last rock. Canada 3, Norway 2.
END 7: Martin calls timeout. Conversation seems to be around the peel, the double-peel or a draw. Double-peel it is. Ulsrud misses with his last rock, allowing Martin to draw for two. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on his feet. The big screen just showed men’s hockey coach Mike Babcock as well. Canada 5, Norway 2.
END 8: Morris restores faith with a good shot in the eighth after a pair of previous misses, the crowd responds. Martin draws to the top button, pressure is on the Norwegians. Martin delivers a perfect freeze, Norway can only take one. Canada 5, Norway 3.
END 9: Martin with last rock. Timeout called; the Norwegian coach is also wearing the checkered pants. Solidarity. Martin draws for another single point. Up three heading to the last end. Canada 6, Norway 3.
END 10: Norway with last rock. One end away from back-to-back Olympic gold medals in men’s curling for Canada. Impromptu singing of O Canada. Martin backs off. Norway is run out of stones and Martin is an Olympic champion.
Jasey Jay Anderson’s gold medal in Parallel Giant Slalom Saturday guaranteed a Winter Games record for number of Canadian medals.
But coupled with the men’s long-track team pursuit gold it also gives Canada a chance for a much bigger accomplishment – record number of gold medals at a Winter Olympic Games.
Anderson’s gold medal is Canada’s 23rd at these Games. But Kevin Martin’s rink is guaranteed a curling medal later Saturday and the men’s hockey team will win either gold or silver tomorrow against the United States.
So 25 medals are now guaranteed at the Vancouver Games, one more than the 24 won in Turin four years ago.
But gold for Martin in curling and the men’s hockey team would give Canada 14 golds, an Winter Olympic record.
A 26th medal is a possibility for Canada given that Lyndon Rush’s sled is in second place heading into the final run of the four-man bobsleigh competition at Whistler.
Canada has struck gold at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The men’s long track speed skating team pursuit trio of Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., Lucas Makowsky of Regina and Mathieu Giroux of Montreal defeated the United States in a time of three minutes 41:37 seconds to capture the gold medal on Saturday.
The Americans closed the gap as the race wore on but could not catch the Canadians and finished in a time of three minutes 42.58 seconds to capture the silver medal.
The Netherlands took home the bronze with an Olympic record time of three minutes 39.95 seconds.
We all have the speed for the 1,500m and we were able to build on that,” Makowsky said following the race. “It is just surreal right now.”
The Canadian men dominated their first two races on the opener of a two-day event, setting an Olympic record on Friday in the quarterfinals to beat Italy, and then eclipsing that mark in the semifinal against Norway to advance to the gold-medal race.
The women’s pursuit team of Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., Kristina Groves of Ottawa and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg were upset when the heavily favoured Canadians fell to the United States in the opening round. They defeated the Netherlands on Saturday to finish fifth.
Germany won the women’s speed skating team pursuit gold medal, while Japan took silver with Poland claiming bronze.
Canadian Jasey-Jay Anderson has won the Olympic gold medal at the men’s parallel giant slalom at Cypress Mountain.
Anderson, Canada’s most decorated snowboarder, beat out long-time rival Benjamin Karl of Austria.
France’s Mathieu Bozetto secured the bronze medal.
Anderson, who has claimed a total of 59 podium finishes with 26 victories in 207 World Cup starts, has competed in three previous Olympic Games without cracking the finals.
Anderson’s victory closes out a snowboarding career that has spanned almost 20 years.
“It’s been my whole life…it’s a really small sport and to stick around this long, you need to…really perservere and be hard-headed many many times,” Anderson said at a press conference last week.
“I am fortunate to have been able to be an athlete up to the age of 34 in this sport.
“The people Ive met, the people who have helped me grow through the sport and through sport in general just the experience of going through the whole Olympic process, being a Canadian in sport, family support.
“I am not the same person that I would have been had I taken a more conventional lifestyle or life path.”
With files from Brett Carpentier
With two short track gold medals Friday Canada now stands a reasonable chance of tying the Winter Games record of 13 gold medals.
The two short-track golds also means Canada has tied its all-time record for Olympic gold in a Winter or Summer Games. Canada won 10 gold medals at the heavily boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Canadians are favoured to win gold in three events during the final two days of the Games: men’s long-track pursuit, men’s curling and men’s hockey.
The three-man team of Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux set a couple of Olympic records Friday at the Richmond Oval. They skated past Norway in the semi-finals with an Olympic record time of three minutes 42.22 seconds and will race in Saturday’s final against the United States, which upset the Netherlands by 0.40 seconds in the other semi-final.
Kevin Martin’s rink faces Norway for gold in the Olympic final Saturday.
Canada’s men’s hockey team will play for gold against the United States on Sunday after defeating Slovakia 3-2 in Friday night’s semi-final.
For the second time since NHL players began participating in the Olympics, Canada will face the United States in the gold medal game thanks to a 3-2 victory over Slovakia Friday.
After controlling the play for the majority of the game, Canada gave up two goals late in this one and then held on for the victory.
Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow and Ryan Getzlaf had the goals for Canada while Lubomir Visnovsky and Michal Handzus replied for the Slovaks.
Roberto Luongo was stellar for two periods but looked shaky in the final frame; however he came up with his biggest save when Canada needed him most.
It was a frenetic closing two minutes in this one as the Slovaks threw everything they had at the Canadian net looking for an equalizer, but Pavol Demitra was robbed by Luongo with less than 10 seconds on the clock on a shot that would have sent this one to OT.
It appeared as though Canada was going to cruise in this one as tipped goals by Marleau and Morrow in the first period gave the Canadians a two goal lead early.
When Getzlaf made it 3-0 thanks to a power play goal in the second period the Canadian fans sensed that the rout was on.
With just five minutes into the third period, the Canadian supporters began to get impatient, chanting “We want the USA,” as it appeared that the Canadian lead was safe and a Sunday date with the United States looked inevitable.
But the Slovaks were not ready to go down quietly. On a delayed penalty Visnovsky’s backhand trickled past Luongo on a shot that the Canadian goalie would have loved to have back. Suddenly Canada’s lead was down to two.
Slovakia continued to pour on the pressure as Richard Zednik circled the net. His shot was stopped but Michal Handzus was there to clean up the garbage and pull Slovakia within one. All of a sudden the rematch with the United States did not look so inevitable.
With Halak pulled in favour of the extra attacker Slovakia had the Canadians on their heels and scrambling in their own zone. That’s when Luongo came up with the save that has already been dubbed ‘the glove from above’ to stone Demitra and send Canada Hockey Place into a frenzy.
As the final buzzer sounded it was largely a sense of relief as Canada had earned their rematch with the United States who beat them 5-3 earlier in the tournament.
The United States will also be looking to settle the score after Canada captured the gold on American soil in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Slovakia will now go on to face Finland in Saturday’s bronze medal game.
Canada’s men’s short track speed skating team finally ended its medal drought, Friday, and they did it in a big way.
Less than an hour later, Hamelin and Tremblay led teammates François Hamelin, Olivier Jean and Guillaume Bastille to the top of the podium, winning the men’s 5,000m relay in six minutes, 44.224 seconds.
Bastille did not participate in the final, but because he raced in the semis, he will also receive a medal.
The men’s 500m race began with all four skaters – South Korea’s Sung Si-Bak, Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States, Tremblay and Charles Hamelin – in tight contention for a medal.
Things opened up in the final lap. Tremblay spilled onto the ice after what appeared to be a push from Ohno, while Sung Si-Bak slipped and fell behind.
It was Hamelin who was first across the line, but Ohno was close on his heels. Upon review, however, the referee disqualified the United States’ most decorated winter athlete, postponing Ohno’s eighth career Olympic medal.
Sung was boosted to silver with a time of 41.340, while Tremblay, with a time of 46.336, was third.
In a live post race interview with NBC, Ohno said he believed he was unfairly disqualified by a Canadian official. He said he believed the ruling was made to put two Canadians on the podium.
The silver and bronze were Canada’s first in the distance since Marc Gagnon won gold in 2002.
In the men’s 5,000m relay, Canada tucked into second place behind China’s relay team for the first 20 laps of the 40-lap race. South Korea was close behind the Canadians in third.
It was Jean who actually made the move to pass China as the skaters entered second half of the race. Canada held the lead until the end, earning the gold ahead of South Korea. The United States finished third.
With the relay result, Canada tied its best-ever gold-medal tally, earning its 10th gold of these Games. Canada last picked up 10 gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
With the 5,000m gold, Tremblay also made his own mark in the history books. He joins Marc Gagnon as the only male Canadian athlete to win a total of five medals at the Olympic Winter Games.
By Jim Morris, The Canadian Press
WHISTLER, B.C. – Clara Hughes carried the Maple Leaf to help kick off the Vancouver Olympics. The veteran speedskater is picking Alexandre Bilodeau as the home side’s flag-bearer when the Games come to a close Sunday.
“I am fully behind Alex,” Hughes said in an email to The Canadian Press. “He is truly inspiring to me and his gold shines bright, like the sun in the sky. Not just because it was the first for Canada on Canadian soil, more so because of who he is.”
Bilodeau won moguls gold, becoming the first Canadian to be crowned Olympic champion at home. He also won the hearts of Canadians with his post-medal tribute to older brother Frederic, who has cerebral palsy.
“Enjoy life, that is his philosophy and he’s got the right to complain,” said Alexandre.
After his victory, Bilodeau donated $25,000 to the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres in support of research into cerebral palsy.
Figure skater Joannie Rochette, who won bronze with a courageous performance in the wake of her mother’s death, will also come under consideration. The festive nature of the closing ceremonies may not suit her, however, although she has shown tremendous resolve already.
“That was the most inspiring thing I have ever seen!” Sami Jo Small, a former gold-medal winning goaltender for the women’s Olympic hockey team, said on Twitter.
“Joannie should carry the CND Flag at the closing ceremonies. Represents the best of us!”
Nathalie Lambert, Canada’s chef de mission, said many athletes deserve consideration.
“I think we need to respect every single athlete,” she said in Vancouver. “Joannie did an amazing, totally inspirational performance. So did Alex. So did Hayley Wickenheiser. So did Kristina Groves. So did Maelle (Ricker).
“There were a lot of wow moments that inspired people in different ways and I think we need to consider everybody.”
The decision of who will be flag-bearer will be made by Lambert and her assistants Joe Juneau and Steve Podborski.
Chris Rudge, chief executive officer with the Canadian Olympic Committee, said an athlete’s performance at the Games is only one factor.
“It’s pretty subjective,” said Rudge. “You take a look at the performance during the Games. You take a look at the activity in the village and the relationship the athlete has with the rest of the team, who would be perceived by the other athletes as a leader.”
Lambert bristled at the suggestion language and gender play a role.
“We don’t go ‘Last time it was an athlete from that sport, or it was a French Canadian or an English Canadian, or it was a guy or a girl,’” she said. “We are really trying to give this opportunity to who we feel is the best person to represent Canada.”
There is no formal nomination process but athletes can make suggestions.
“Already people have started lobbying,” Lambert said.
The decision won’t be announced until Saturday night or Sunday.
Another candidate is skeleton racer Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., who became an Olympic gold medallist and then champion hoser for slurping from a pitcher of beer handed to him as he walked through Whistler.
Ottawa’s Kristina Groves won two speedskating medals.
Ricker’s victory in snowboard cross made the Squamish, B.C., resident the first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold at home.
“Local girl, learned to turn on this hill, dominated in the finals, won the gold medal by a mile,” Christian Hrab, high-performance director of Canada Snowboard, said at Cypress Mountain.
“It’s a snowboard nation here in Canada, so we think Maelle would be good.”
Calgary’s Wickenheiser, the captain of the women’s hockey team, earned her third Olympic gold medal with Canada’s 2-0 win over the U.S. Thursday night.
Cindy Klassen, who won five speedskating medals, carried the flag at the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Turin Games.
Pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, who remained composed during the figure skating controversy in Salt Lake City, had the honour in 2002.
Catriona Le May Doan, who won gold and bronze, was the closing ceremony flag-bearer in 1998 in Nagano. Myriam Bedard, a double gold medallist in biathlon, did it at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
With files from Canadian Press sports writers Donna Spencer and Andy Blatchford
It’s about time Charles, well done.
Canada’s men’s short track speed skating team finally ended its medal drought, Friday, with Charles Hamelin of Leval, Que., picking up the gold medal in the 500m final while teammate Francois-Louis Tremblay earned bronze.
Skating in a tight race with South Korea’s Sung Si-Bak and Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States, Ohno tripped up Francois-Louis Tremblay in the final lap of the race, while Sung Si-Bak slipped and fell behind.
It was Hamelin who was first across the line in a time of 40.981 seconds ahead of Ohno. But upon review, the referee disqualified the American skater, preventing Ohno – already the most decorated American winter Olympian in history – from winning his eighth career Olympic medal.
Sung was boosted to silver with a time of 41.340, while Tremblay, with a time of 46.336, was third.
The silver and bronze were Canada’s first in the distance since Marc Gagnon won gold in 2002.
Earlier in the evening, Canada’s women were shut out of the 1,000m medal race. The men’s 5,000m relay – the last short track event of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – is scheduled for later Friday.
By Rachel Brady, CTVOlympics.ca
Home-ice pressure? No problem.
The Canadian women’s hockey team has embraced a nation’s desire for hockey gold and it has delivered just that.
Led by an 18-year-old scoring phenom and a goalie most considered the sure No.3 just a few months ago, Canada skated to a confident 2-0 win over its rivals from the United States, and seized its third straight Olympic gold medal.
Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que. scored two goals on U.S. netminder Jessie Vetter – both in the first period — to lead the charge in just her first Olympic Games.
The rest of the game was scoreless for both teams. Shannon Szabados was impenetrable in the Canadian net, making 28 saves, many of them the sort that made jaws drop and the crowd erupt. The native of Edmonton, Alta., made several of her signature sprawling glove saves, giving her team a huge burst of momentum.
Also a first-time Olympian, Szabados was a big part of a disciplined Canadian penalty-killing effort that killed off numerous U.S powerplays, including a critical five-on-three early in the second period.
Canada’s women errupted in celebration before a deafening crowd as the final buzzer sounded, piling onto Szabados for their long awaited victory hug.
As the two teams received their medals, there was an outpouring of sportsmanship from the fans for Finland, the bronze medallists and particularly for the silver-medal-winning rivals from the U.S. The entire building — Canadian and American fans alike — chanted ‘U-S-A’ as the U.S. players received their silver rewards.
VANCOUVER – OK, nobody saw that coming.
In one of the most hyped, heralded and anticipated hockey games ever played, Canada unleashed a devastating first-period attack Wednesday night to crush Russia, the defending world champions and in some people’s minds, the gold-medal favorite, in a men’s Olympic hockey quarter-final game.
In all, Canada scored six goals on 23 shots in just over 24 minutes to play to stun Russia’s stylish, but on this night, badly overmatched men’s team.
The defeat by a 7-3 final score sent the Russians home to await the start of the 2014 Games in Sochi, where the hope is they may even show up to play. Canada, meanwhile, moves on to the semi-finals Friday to face either the defending Olympic champions Sweden or Slovakia.
It was a game in which everything went Canada’s way, from the moment the puck was dropped between Jonathan Toews and Russia’s No. 1 centre Evgeni Malkin. Canadian coach Mike Babcock cobbled together a checking line consisting of Toews, Mike Richards and Rick Nash, with Nash drawing the task of shadowing Russia’s all-world scoring sensation, Alex Ovechkin.
Nash had been Canada’s most physical forward in this tournament and physically, the best equipped to go head-to-head against Ovechkin, who’d knocked the Czech star Jaromir Jagr right out of the tournament in an earlier game. But Nash was strong against Ovechkin all night – or as long as it mattered, which was probably no more than the early stages of the second period, by which time Canada had the game sealed and delivered.
Richards was just as good, hounding Malkin, a frequent NHL adversary in the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers’ rivalry. Richards’ play, to strip Malkin of the puck just inside the Russian blue line with Canada holding a 2-0 first-period lead, may have been the turning point in the game. Richards moved the puck up to Toews on a quick transitional play, who then found Nash breaking into the clear.
Russian goaltender Evgeni Nabokov committed two beats too soon on the play and was flat on his side by the time Nash buried a shot into the top half of the net.
Nabokov had an awful night and when he gave up a cheapie to Brenden Morrow in the final two minutes of the opening period, it seemed certain that Russian coach Slava Bykov would yank him for the start of the second period. Bykov didn’t – much to his ever-lasting chagrin.
Canada scored twice more within the first 4:07 of the second to go up 6-1 and at that point, back-up goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov finally came in off the bench – too little, too late to save the Russians’ medal hopes.
Canada also received a strong game from the newly formed line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Morrow, who accounted for four of the seven goals. Getzlaf scored the all-important opening goal; Perry counted twice in the second, to snuff out any possible hope of a Russian comeback. Getzlaf and Perry play in the NHL for the Anaheim Ducks, the team that made Nabokov’s life miserable in last year’s opening playoff round.
For Canada, the pattern of building and improving as a team throughout the tournament is standard practice in the Olympics’ NHL era – the only concern usually is if they run out of time. As it turns out, playing an extra game in the qualification round against Germany one night earlier may have done them a world of good. That was the first time they started to get comfortable as a team, following a week of changes and experiments with line combinations, some of which worked, and others that didn’t.
So Canada gets a day off now before resuming play and if it is Sweden that stands in its path, they will pose a real threat. The two teams haven’t met since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, when Sweden won in a walk.
It was hard to imagine the frantic pace of the wildly entertaining opening 20 minutes could be sustained – and realistically, from Babcock’s perspective, the Canadians wouldn’t have wanted it to anyway. Trading chances with the Russians is never a good idea – and it makes even less sense when you’re holding a big lead. The third period developed into a grind-it-out NHL sort of game, perfectly suited to Canada’s purposes.
The crowd at Canada Hockey Place had to content itself by mocking Ovechkin with the cry, “Ovie, Ovie” whenever the Russian touched the puck.
The test now will be to harness the emotion Canada had off the start and see if they can reach that fervor pitch again in time to play Slovakia or Sweden.
In 2006, when Russia won the meeting against Canada in the quarter-final, they fell apart in the final two games, failing to score in either the semi-final or the bronze medal game.
By Eric Duhatschek, CTVOlympics.ca
VANCOUVER – So now it comes down to this: Canada-Russia on Wednesday in men’s Olympic hockey, the winner to go on, the loser to go home.
Theoretically, the Russia-Canada match-up would have been better as the gold-medal final, but since that cannot happen, ticket holders for the second of Wednesday’s four quarter-final match-ups will be rewarded with a view of history, Canada trying to stay alive to win a hometown Olympic hockey medal, Russia standing in its way.
Canada took the necessary first step by defeating Germany 8-2 in Tuesday’s qualification-round game. As expected, the overmatched Germans gave it their all, understanding that an exceptional goaltending performance, or even a bit of good fortune, can help an underdog in a one-game, winner-take-all showdown.
But ultimately, Canada’s edge in every department – scoring, goaltending, special teams – tilted the scales in its favor. Joe Thornton‘s first goal of the tournament 10:13 into the opening period put Canada ahead to stay against an offensively challenged German team that had been previously shut out twice in the tournament.
Still, the Canadian team didn’t really collectively exhale until on odd sequence early in the second period, when Shea Weber‘s slap shot from the point passed right through the net. Play continued until the next stoppage, at which point a video review confirmed that an actual goal had been scored.
The referees put 38 seconds back on the clock and while the Germans collectively digested that unfortunate series of events, Jarome Iginla potted a power-play goal just over a minute later, making it 3-0 Canada and ending the suspense. Iginla eventually added a second goal, his fifth of the tournament, as the Canadians wore down Thomas Greiss’s resistance in the German goal.
As a player, Weber resembles the early Al MacInnis, someone who can occasionally be wild high with a devastating slap shot. But Weber’s shot is a weapon and it has been the only one that consistently sifted through from the point for Canada throughout the tournament.
From a Canadian perspective, the key to victory on Tuesday was not expending too much emotional energy in advance of the Russian game, something that can be acutely draining to a team playing for the second time in two nights.
That four-goal cushion at the midpoint of the game permitted coach Mike Babcock to run four lines and preserve the legs for tonight’s encounter against Russia.
Babcock’s new line combinations worked reasonably well, with Eric Staal nicely complementing Iginla and Crosby by providing strong corner work for the unit.
Naturally, Russia will represent a different kind of challenge. As the home team, Russia’s coach, Slava Bykov, will have the last line change; it remains to be seen whether Bykov will play a match-up game or simply roll lines. Potentially, Crosby could go head-to-head against his Pittsburgh Penguins’ teammate, Evgeni Malkin, who currently centers Ovechkin’s line.
“It’s going to be crazy,” predicted Russia’s Sergei Fedorov. “The fans will cheer for Team Canada. They will get great support.”
Marcel Goc broke Roberto Luongo‘s shutout attempt late in the second period, the first goal Luongo has permitted in the tournament. Greiss stopped Crosby on a second-period penalty shot; otherwise, the overall damage could have been worse.
On Thornton’s all-important ice-breaking first goal, Dany Heatley made an athletic play from behind the net to trap the bouncing puck in front of German defenceman Christian Ehrhoff and get it out in front to Thornton, who banged it in from the top of the crease.
It was the sort of goal that Canada hasn’t scored often enough in this tournament – executed at high speed before Greiss could get set.
Ideally, what the Canadian shooters want are a few more uncontested chances, which happened in the third period against Norway and then not again until the second period last night, when they turned the game into a shooting gallery against Greiss.
An issue all tournament long has been the ice conditions at Canada Hockey Place. With so many games being played here – three yesterday altogether – the pucks have been bouncing like a rubber ball, one reason the players on both sides have had to hesitate sometimes when making a play, waiting to settle the puck down.
As to the fact that the Canada-Russia encounter came so early in the tournament, Fedorov was philosophical, knowing that it as unlucky for the International Ice Hockey Federation’s No. 1 rated Russians as it is for the No. 2 rated Canadians.
“That’s the way it came out,” said Fedorov. “It’s the luck of the draw.”