Flashes of Gretzky to Lemieux were evident in the overtime period of the Gold Medal Game of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics – Iginla to Crosby, Crosby beats Miller, the “Golden Goal” of a new generation is born. The hero of the hour’s reaction? “I didn’t see it go in – I just heard everyone scream.”
And scream they did – over the opportunity to win at Canada’s game on Olympic home ice for the first time ever, over Canada’s second gold medal in the last three Olympics, over the chance to beat Canada’s geographic rival, and over the fact that Canada is once again International Hockey Lineal Champions.
This was billed as one of the biggest games in international hockey history, a rematch of the legendary 2002 Olympic final, but this time on Canadian home ice, between the two rival nations for Olympic supremacy – and it lived up, and greatly surpassed, all the hype. The squads were evenly matched throughout, but Canada snuck in an opening tally from Chicago Blackhawk Jonathan Toews midway through the first, to put Canada on top after 20 minutes. A second goal in a very back-and-forth period from Corey Perry had Canada up by two at the game’s midpoint, but Vancouver Canucks hero (but not so much on this day in Vancouver) Ryan Kesler rifled a shot past Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo to shrink the deficit to 2-1.
The third period, unsurprisingly defensive, provided great chances both for Canada to put the final nail in the coffin, while the Americans struggled to get anything past Luongo’s sharp glove hand. But with only 25 seconds until Vancouver, and Canada as a whole, could collectively celebrate, it was Zach Parise playing the spoiler, banking in a rebound off of Jamie Langenbrunner to stun Canada and force overtime, the first Gold Medal game to require extra time since 1994, and the first ever since the NHL allowed its players to participate.
Overtime certainly had its share from both teams of heart-attack inducing plays on both sides of the border, but it was Sid The Kid who sealed the Americans’ fate with a play he started by chipping the puck into the corner for Jarome Iginla. He then hurdled towards the net, where Iginla flipped the puck past defenceman Ryan Suter to the screaming Crosby (the unforgettable scream of “IGGY!” could be heard on the live broadcast), and threaded the pass through Ryan Miller’s legs to win the Game, the gold, and keep the IHLC. Canada Hockey Place unsurprisingly erupted, and streets throughout Canada were flooded with jubilated fans celebrating the win.
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 55th title, which they won from Slovakia in the Semifinals, their first title since dropping the IHLC just prior to the 2008 IIHF World Championships. This was the 46th meeting between Team Canada and Team USA over the IHLC, and the first such meeting since the 2007 World Championships, where a 6-3 Canada win captured them the IHLC. The last time Canada left an Olympics with the IHLC was after their Gold Medal win over the U.S. in 2002, and this was the sixth consecutive Games where the Gold Medal and IHLC were unified – for more, check out the IHLC @ Olympics & Invitationals page.
The IHLC was brought into Vancouver by Finland, who won the IHLC at the Channel One Cup in December 2009 – they successfully defended the title against Belarus and Germany to open the Games, before dropping the title to Sweden on February 21. Sweden then lost the title to Slovakia three days later in the Semifinals, before Canada wrenched the IHLC from the Slovaks on February 26 to advance to the Gold Medal Game.
12:50 – GOAL – Toews (Richards)
14:02 – PEN – Ryan, tripping
22:33 – PEN – Malone, high sticking
24:41 – PEN – Staal, interference
27:13 – GOAL – Perry (Getzlaf, Keith)
28:25 – PEN – Toews, tripping
32:44 – GOAL – Kesler (Kane)
59:35 – EA GOAL – Parise (Langenbrunner, Kane)
67:40 – GOAL – Crosby (Iginla)
W: Luongo (34-36)
L: Miller (36-39)
SHOTS ON GOAL
10+15+7+7 = 39
8+15+9+4 = 36
Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo. Defence: Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer (C), Chris Pronger (A), Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber. Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla (A), Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews.
Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Tim Thomas. Defence: Tim Gleason, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Brooks Orpik, Brian Rafalski, Ryan Suter (A), Ryan Whitney. Forwards: David Backes, Dustin Brown (A), Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner (C), Ryan Malone, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny.