It is hard to believe that it is already time for the Men’s Semifinal round of Olympic Hockey. It always seems as though the greatest and most exciting sport of the Olympic games isn’t showcased enough. Also, sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough rounds for the sport. But it isn’t hard to believe that it’s USA and Canada who will be duking it out again for the first time since the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games. Both teams have been doing very well in this year’s games, as anticipated and expected. Both countries also have a star-studded line-up, which will make for a very exciting, physical, and technical game. Coming into this Semifinal contest, Team USA has scored a total of 19 goals in 4 games, where Team Canada stands with a total of 12.
Team USA may have less combined experience than Team Canada both in ice time and years played in the NHL, yet they have stamina and a hunger for revenge. The boys in red, white and blue have some of hottest players in the NHL to represent America and make her proud: Ducks favorite Cam Fowler, along with team Captain Zach Parise, T.J. Oshie, Dustin Brown… do I need to list the entire roster? I’d love to name drop some more. Yes, team Canada has big names such as Patrick Marleau, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf AND Corey Perry. The afore mentioned players alone make this game more challenging for team USA. It is hard to see so many phenomenal players that you regularly root for on the opposing team!
Going off of the current stats and game results from Sochi, it is fact that team USA has outscored all of their opponents, with an exception of the close call with Russia back on February 15th. T.J. Oshie for team USA was able to make four out of his six attempted shots, to seal the win. Team Canada’s game results with their opponents have been closer, with the exception of their domination over Austria on February 14th. Both teams have one overtime win. Team USA has also had solid goal-tending performances from both Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller.
Team USA hasn’t won a gold medal since the historic miracle team at the Lake Placid games in 1980. Team Canada stole the gold in 2010 against team USA in Vancouver. Historically, team Canada has collectively earned 11 gold medals since the sport’s Olympic début in the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Team USA has only earned three gold medals. This may also be the last time that we see such competitive hockey at the Olympics, considering that the NHL needs to make a decision regarding their involvement for the future of the Winter games. With the momentum that the team has built up this past week in Sochi, it appears as though team USA is ready for the battle with the reigning Canadians. Ryan Miller and Sidney Crosby will be two of the many 2010 returning Olympians to represent their countries and go for the gold. The USA have won 10 silver medals in the past and are proving they have grown tired of that color.
The game will air live on Friday, February 21st at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
I am going to start the slow clap and chant now. Feel free to chime in: U S A, U S A, U S A…