2.23.2014

Game of the Year!

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
Men's Hockey Gold Medal Game
Canada vs. Sweden @ Bolshoy Ice Dome
3-0 Full-Time

IT IS TIME!! Whether you're in Newfoundland or on Vancouver Island, you are awake at home or at a bar watching this game at the edge of your seat! You have your flag, you have your jersey, and you've got your buddies. Doesn't matter if you've got your beer, as long as you have the rest of the nation with you.

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

Not even a minute in, you know this is the game these two nations have been waiting for. There is an extra jump in all the strides taken, and Canada got two great chances not even 2 minutes into the game! But you can't shake Henrik Lundqvist! And you don't have to wait long to see Sweden cycle the puck in their offensive zone. They get at least a couple of chances, but Carey Price shuts them down!

I will admit, I haven't followed much of anyone besides Canada during the Olympics, so I did not know what to expect of Sweden this year. But from what I used to watch, I never expected this kind of start from Sweden! Swedish hockey doesn't look like Swedish hockey anymore! It's looking good and they're getting really good chances on Price! In a lot of the tournament, many of the games Canada spent on the offensive. But this game, it is really evenly spent in both zones! You see Canada getting chances and you see Sweden getting good chances! This is for the big kahuna and you know it!

Sweden almost got the first goal just over 4 minutes in! But as the hockey gods have it, the puck pinged off of the post and Price being intuitive, grabbed the puck from behind him to stop the play and stop the possibility of his team being down one early. Almost 8 minutes into the game and Canada is down in shots, 6-2! But if Sweden is going to shoot, Canada is going to defend. Canada's defence has been amazing all tournament! They continue to be there for their goalie shot after shot, shift after shift. And if you're there for your goalie and your goalie is there for you, you get your chances. With 8 minutes left in the first period, Canada nearly gets their first goal, but luck was on the Swedish side. It just went past Lundqvist's arm and stayed out on luck.

Nearly 13 minutes into the game, Jonathan Toews gets Canada's first goal!!! They wore down on and tore down into the Swedes' zone. Down low in the zone, right above the goal line, Jeff Carter takes a shot on goal, and with Toews in front of the net, Toews tips the shot past Lundqvist! And gets the entire nation roaring! A taser from Toews sends an electric shock of excitement through the second largest nation in the world!

The goal gets Canada extra lively and Sweden picks it up. But as a consequence, adrenaline can get to you and Sweden gives up the first power-play of the game. Jonathan Ericsson gets a holding call against him as he prevents a goal from happening. I say it was a good penalty, but you don't want to take a penalty in this kind of game when you're down one, especially against Canada. But as the penalty clock ticked down, Canada and Sweden looked good. Well, Sweden looking good on the penalty-kill made Canada's power-play look not as good, but 2 minutes ticked away faster than you wanted (maybe not on the Swedish end). And with 12 seconds left in the first, Chris Kunitz gets Canada's first penalty and gives Sweden their first chance. With 12 seconds, they didn't get much, but they get to start the second 5-on-4.

The second period started a little more toned down. The energy has been felt and now the two teams are settling in. But the energy did not go away! The penalty ticked away just as the Swedish penalty did, and Sweden got their chances, but didn't get the goal to count for them. Canada is a wall you're going to have to tear down brick by antagonising brick before you can get anywhere.

All tournament, a huge portion of our goals have come from the guys up at the blue line. But in this game, our forwards are coming out! They're producing more really good scoring chances and Toews got the first goal like he did 4 years ago. They may not have scored all tournament, but if our forwards stepped up tonight, I think I can overlook that.

Almost at the 6' mark, Canada gets their second power-play opportunity as Jakob Silfverberg walked into the sin bin. And just like the other penalty, the Swedes kill this one and keeps it just 1-0. As half of the period disappears, the game starts to heat up. Defence tightens up, the Swedes are kept out, and the offensive pressure is more opportunisitic.

And the opportunity strikes!! With about 5 minutes left in the second, Sidney Crosby attacks the Swedish net and has the puck curl off of the tip of his puck! Crosby just tore down the ice and beat Lundqvist blind! His first of the tournament, unassisted. Is this another golden goal for Crosby? The goal heats the Swedes up, and Patrik Berglund takes a roughing call against Kunitz. Not a good penalty to take when you're down 2-0. The Swedes aren't the Canadian women, and they need to start praying to the hockey gods.

As the puck dropped for the third period, Canada and their ecstatic fans in the morning are 20 minutes away from winning gold for another year! And you can see Canada is ready for it. Defence tightened up, but offence didn't go away! And as you continue, your efforts will pay off!

Chris Kunitz, after getting picked on and beat up, pretty much seals the deal! Nearly halfway through the final period, Kunitz beats Daniel Sedin and a quick wrister flies past Lundqvist's shoulder and hits just underneath the crossbar to ripple the mesh!

That final goal just sucked the life and exuberance out of Sweden! As the period dwindled away, the frustration increased and built up in the Swedes. They slowed down, they stopped skating, and the energy was just gone. But no matter. CANADA WINS OLYMPIC GOLD IN HOCKEY AGAIN!! AND CAREY PRICE GETS THE SHUTOUT! HEAR THE NATION ROAR!!

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