Canadian men and women sweep hockey gold
In what has been called one of the greatest games in the history of the Olympics, Canada beat the United States for the men’s hockey gold medal. Canada had a 2-1 lead with under a minute left in regulation before American Zach Parise scored the tying goal, sending the game to overtime. In the extra session, Sidney Crosby scored 7:40 into the period to earn the home team the 3-2 victory. The goal was Crosby’s second overtime game-winner of the Olympics.
In the women’s tournament, Canada blanked the United States, its biggest rival, 2-0, to win its third gold medal in the four times women’s hockey has been on the Olympic docket. Marie-Philip Poulin tallied both of the Canadians’ scores and goalie Shannon Szabados turned away 28 shots.
|2010 Final Medal Standings||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total|
“The Next One” scores the big one
The Canadian men reasserted their dominance in ice hockey during the last competition before the Closing Ceremony at the 2010 Olympic Games. On their home ice in Vancouver, the Canadians were led by “The Next One,” center Sidney Crosby, and his supporting cast of veteran right winger Jarome Iginla, goaltender Roberto Luongo and the young talent of left winger Jonathan Toews. Facing high expectations on their home soil, the Canadian team was able to redeem themselves after a disappointing 2006 Games in Torino, where the Canadians finished seventh, their worst performance in team history at Olympics. Canada played an impressive tournament and battled to an epic 3-2 victory in overtime over the United States to claim the title in the final game and capture their 8th gold medal. The gold ties Canada with the Soviet Union/Unified Team as the most successful team in Olympic ice hockey history.
The gold medal final was a rematch of the 2002 final in Salt Lake City, which Canada also won, 5-2. Leading up to the final, the U.S. beat Canada 5-3 during the preliminary round in Group A which meant the Canadians would have to reverse the outcome in the final; in turn, veteran Canadian goalkeeper Martin Brodeur was replaced by Luongo for the rest of the tournament. Despite the loss against the U.S., Canada won by large margins during their championship run, including a hat-trick in its opener against Germany by Iginla. The Finnish squad, finishing 3rd as winners of the bronze medal game over Slovakia 5-3, was beaten 6-1 by the U.S. in the semifinal.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Sidney Crosby wins gold at 2010 Olympics
Oh (so good) Canada
Canada also continued its impressive dominance in women’s ice hockey on home ice in Vancouver, as the Canadian women won their third straight gold medal at the 2010 tournament. Canada never lost en route to a gold medal final against the United States, who could only take home silver with after being blanked 2–0 in the final. Finland earned bronze with a third place game win over Sweden, making the medalists and their order the same at both the men’s and women’s tournaments in Vancouver. With an average attendance of 8,120 fans per game, the Vancouver tournament was the best-attended women’s hockey tournament of all time.
Meghan Agosta led the way for the Canadians with 15 points, including two hat tricks. She was named MVP of the tournament, but was followed close behind by veteran forward Janya Hefford, who had 12 points. Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados was named goaltender of the tournament after posting shutouts in both the semifinal and gold medal game, although she did not play all 300 minutes of the tournament.
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