That was the way a hockey game is supposed to be played. Two teams that don’t like each other, but just demonstrated it between the whistles. Great skating, great defense, fantastic goaltending and in the end it was a Jamie Benn deflection off a Jay Bouwmeester pass 1:41 into the second period that was the difference as Team Canada shut out Team USA 1-0 in what will go down as the best game of the tournament, and one of the best ever.
Carey Price was fantastic, making 31 saves and showing excellent rebound control all night. He looked poised and confident in his strongest test to date. Jonathan Quick was equal to Price, stopping 36 of 37 shots.
Canada’s defense played great, shutting down the speed of the US forwards and keeping them mostly to the outside. Up front, Jeff Carter was everywhere and was probably Canada’s best forward. The line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Benn smothered the US in their own zone for lengthy periods of time, wearing down the US defensemen.
The four line relentless attack of the Canadians overwhelmed the young American defensemen as they came in waves on the forecheck and never stopped moving. Still, scoring was an issue, but once again they did just enough to win.
Full credit to the US, who sacrificed their bodies blocking shots and battled to the bitter end. One bounce the other way and it could have been a different result. But, Canada came through when it mattered, and they will face Sweden for the Gold Medal on Sunday morning, while the US will have to try to get over the loss prior to Saturday’s Bronze Medal game against Finland or they will go home empty handed.