The US had the easier path to the final after crushing Finland 6-1 earlier today, scoring all six goals in the first 13 minutes of the game before backing off and playing a simple game to ease into Sunday’s game.
The Canadians had more of a struggle against the upstart Slovaks tonight, holding on (almost literally) to a 3-2 win to make it to Sunday’s rematch.
Of course, the US won the first match-up, 5-3, in the preliminary round. It was a game where Ryan Miller outplayed Martin Brodeur in net and Miller has continued to roll in the tournament. Goaltending hasn’t been stellar for Canada, including Roberto Luongo who looked shaky down the stretch tonight.
For me…I’m a bit torn.
I’m a native American, born and raised here in Oregon but consider myself an adopted Canadian. I have family heritage there as my Mother’s family immigrated from Quebec back in the 1800’s and I had an ancestor on the LaBonte side of the family that actually voted whether or not the Oregon territory would be part of Canada or the US at what is now Champoeg Park. He voted Canada, obviously…but came out on the short end.
My favorite sport is Canadian…my favorite band is Canadian…and Team Canada has the Winterhawk ties with Brenden Morrow.
In the end, if the game lives up to the hype and we are treated to a game with similar or more intensity than the first meeting earlier in the games, as hockey fans…there will be no losers. There will be disappointment on one side of the border, for sure, but both teams can take pride in what they have done to have a chance to compete for Gold.
The puck drops a little after high-noon on Sunday and it will be shown live (thankfully!) on NBC…I cannot wait as I’m sure it will be a fitting climax to what has been an incredible hockey event in Vancouver.
Lastly…I have to say how impressed I have been with the Slovakian team and the former Hawks who played for them. Marian Hossa is his normal beast on the ice and his brother Marcel played well, as well. The true joy was watching Richard Zednik as he has been out of the NHL this season. He has played an incredible tournament, playing with fire and determination that we saw in his time as a Winterhawk. It has been great to see and I truly hope they skate away with the Bronze against the Finnish team tomorrow night.
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