Canada loss to U.S. makes road to gold tougher – Metro US

Canada loss to U.S. makes road to gold tougher

We had patriotism on our side, but in the end patriotism wasn’t enough as the United States beat Canada 5–3 last night after three nail-biting periods at Canada Hockey Place.

Now what seemed like sure-fire thing — a guaranteed spot in the quarterfinals, is up in the air and Canada will have to beat Germany then Russia in the quarterfinals on its quest for gold.

It was part hockey game, part rock concert at the start of the first period as people danced in the aisles to Tragically Hip songs while red and white beach balls bounced through the sea of red.

But the Americans got an early advantage when Brian Rafalski scored while the crowd was still chanting “Go Canada, Go!” from the puck drop.

Canada’s first goal, scored by Eric Staal at the nine-minute mark was answered seconds later with another goal by Rafalski, and from there Canada struggled to keep up despite out-shooting the United States 45 to 23.

American goaltender Ryan Miller seemed unbeatable while Canada’s Martin Brodeur let in a handful of questionable goals.

Sidney Crosby gave Canadians momentary hope when he scored with three minutes left in the game bringing the score to 4–3, but an empty net goal by the Canucks’ Ryan Kesler sealed Canada’s fate.

“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Canada’s head coach, Mike Babcock said, adding the Americans capitalized on his team’s lapses in goaltending and defense.

“In the end when we made mistakes, (the mistakes) ended up in our net,” he said.

“We’ve just chosen a longer route to where we want to go.”

U.S. still sees itself as underdog
The Americans have embraced the underdog role here and are hoping to summon the spirit of the 1960 and 1980 teams that delivered unlikely golds in this tournament. However, coach Ron Wilson doesn’t think a victory over Canada signals that they’re the country to beat.

“In fairness, Canada probably outchanced us 2-1 most of the game and the goalie played excellent,” said Wilson. “I still think we’ve got a long way to go.”
– The Canadian Press

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