This is the game that everyone was waiting for, at least North American fans. Team USA wanted revenge from their OT loss in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and Team Canada wanted to prove their dominance in the sport of hockey. This time the two giants met in the semifinal round, and the winner would head to gold medal game to face Team Sweden – the loser would play for bronze against Team Finland. Puck drop was at 9:00 PM local Sochi time, noon est – Bolshoy Ice Dome was the venue.
The first period started out fairly equal, with both teams having a few good chances in the first half of the opening period. As time went on, Canada began to dictate the play and continued to gain momentum. The play of the game really shifted during and after Team Canada had their first power play of the game. They couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net but they had plenty of shots and opportunities. Team USA also had a power play, but they barely put anything together in the offensive zone. It would be fair to say that Canada out-played USA for at least the last ten minutes of the first period. Shots on goal: 16 Canada, USA 11
During the second period Canada finally got on the board, they had the momentum at the end of the first period, and it carried into the second. Jamie Benn got his stick on the ice and deflected a Jay Bouwmeester shot/pass – just 1:41 into the period. Team USA had 6 minutes of power play time throughout the two periods, 4 of which came in the second, but unfortunately they couldn’t put anything together. In fact, the power play looked mediocre, not what you would expect at such a high level. The period would end 1-0, and Canada still had the momentum in the game. Shots on goal: Canada 12, USA 11.
The third period marched on much like the first two, Canada mostly in control of the game, but USA still pressuring at times. Canada was holding onto the 1-0 lead tightly throughout the period, continuously pushing to find a second goal. With ten minutes left to go in the final period, Team USA began to find more chances on net, but Carey Price couldn’t be beat. USA kept pressing in the final minutes of play, they got some good chances, and more time in the offensive zone. Nothing would go by Price though. Team Canada would hold on in the dying seconds, and they beat the Americans 1-0. Shots on goal: Canada 9, USA 9.
The Canadians wanted it more in this game, USA couldn’t put anything together. Most of the chances that USA had weren’t that great, and most of the shots were right into Price. Canada scored a beautiful goal in the second period, Jamie Benn became the hero for scoring the lone goal, and it was as simple as him having his stick on the ice at the right time. Price made 31 shots in the shutout, and Jonathan Quick faced 37 shots, stopping all but one – both netminders played great games.
Canada will face off against Sweden in the gold medal game, and USA will take on Finland for the bronze medal. USA vs Finland will take place tomorrow, the 22nd, with puck drop scheduled for 10 Am EST. Canada vs Sweden will be played on Sunday, the 23rd, with the opening face-off scheduled for 7:00 AM EST.