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Sunday, 21 February 2010

USA Beats Canada In Olympic Hockey, 5-3


The Huffington Post
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Americans didn't believe in miracles. They just believed. And they pulled off the biggest Olympic hockey upset since the Miracle on Ice, stunning Canada 5-3 on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals of an already mixed-up tournament.

Brian Rafalski scored two goals, Ryan Miller held off a flurry of shots and the Americans quieted a raucous, pro-Canada crowd that came to cheer its dream team, only to see it upstaged by a bunch of unproven kids.

One day short of the 30th anniversary of the country's greatest hockey victory – the unfathomable win over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid – these underrated Americans were faster, more disciplined and more determined than Canada's collection of all-stars.

Better, too. "We know we can beat anybody now," Rafalski said.

Canada outshot the United States 45-23 yet couldn't badly dent Miller, the goalie the Americans felt could best stand up to all of Canada's might. He did just that, making 42 saves in the victory of a lifetime.

"It's probably one of the biggest games I've ever played," Miller said. "When things happened we responded. We didn't get nervous or anxious. We kept playing."

When Ryan Kesler scored in the final minute, the few U.S. fans who managed to get seats proudly waved their American flags, all their red, white and blue suddenly visible. "You look up and everything's red and white – so few American flags" at the start, said U.S. coach Ron Wilson, who also led the 1996 team that upset Canada in the World Cup. "We expected a hostile environment. The intensity of the game helped, too."

Depending on the later Finland-Sweden game that concluded hockey's Super Sunday in Vancouver, the United States could go into Wednesday's quarterfinals not only as a group winner but as the top-seeded team, something almost no one predicted when the tournament began. Canada, the gold-medal favorite, was expected to coast into the medal round. But now, after nearly losing to Switzerland and being outplayed on home ice by the Americans, it must win a play-in game Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals.

For the rest of the story, click here.

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This game was awesome. Both Steve & I watched with excitement. The USA hadn't beaten Canada in 50 years. Canada is such a better team (according to all the professionals) but the USA pulled it out and away. It was fun watching two teams that represented our countries (USA = Steve & Canada = me) play each other in the Olympics. Beer, family and friends just add to the fun mix. Although it sucked that my team lost, I was happy that it was to my second home, and Steve's home country, the USA.

It really was a good game. Fun educating Steve in the rules of hockey throughout the game. The only other winter Olympic sport he knew about was figure-skating... (how gay is he? I think u know now)! Oh, and he is just baffled by curling. Ha! If you're from the north you understand it.

He knows football. I know hockey. :-)

Cheers,
Brent Everett (Go Canada, eh!)
Oh, and the loser tonight has to be the big bottom. :-) Hey Steve, where's the good lube??? Better go get ready to rid'em cowboy... :-))

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