With about three minutes left in last night’s 8-2 thrashing of Germany, the 16,000 raving fans let the world know exactly who they wanted to play in today’s quarter-final as deafening chants of “We want Russia” threatened to blow the roof off Canada Hockey Place.
“They were just saying what they wanted, I don’t think you could blame them,” said Canada’s Sidney Crosby, who will renew his often heated rivalry with Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin on the world’s largest stage.
The Russians won a bye to this afternoon’s quarter-finals, finishing third behind the top-ranked Americans and Swedes.
“(Russia-Canada) is a big rivalry, we all know it,” Crosby said. “It’s something that everyone has been talking about before the Olympics … the fact is, we have a big quarter-final game and the fact that it is them just adds more to it. I expect it will be a pretty incredible atmosphere.”
Canada, ranked sixth after the preliminary round, opened the scoring last night halfway through the first period. Joe Thornton beat German goaltender (and San Jose teammate) Thomas Greiss glove side after taking a pass from behind the net from Dany Heatley (another San Jose teammate).
The scoring began with a blast in the second.
A Shea Weber slapshot beat Greiss stick side and zipped clean through the netting, causing the water bottle to give a little jump.
Weber yelled at the referee and gestured wildly at the net, but the play continued for another 40 seconds or so, until a whistle sounded and officials could review the play. Weber was soon awarded the goal.
Jarome Iginla had two goals on the night, while Crosby, Mike Richards, captain Scott Niedermayer and Rick Nash each scored in the third.