Canada strikes gold in Sochi

Canadian FlagIt may not have been as dramatic as the 2010 Olympic gold medal game, but the dominance displayed by the Canadian men’s hockey team was just as remarkable.

The lead-up to the Olympics for Team Canada presented many questions about goaltending and much controversy was developing between who the number one goalie was going to be during crunch time.

However, once the tournament was all said and done it was unimaginable to believe that there was ever really a controversial battle for the number one goalie between Roberto Luongo and Carey Price.

Luongo may have recorded a shutout in the team’s 6-0 victory over Austria, but once Price received the start in their third game that resulted in a 2-1 overtime win against Finland, it was his time to shine.

Price dominated the rest of the tournament and was a huge reason why his team went on to win the gold medal. After allowing a first period goal in the surprisingly tight 2-1 overtime win over Latvia, Price went on to post back-to-back shutouts against the United States and Sweden to win the tournament.

Every single negative remark that the media talked about regarding Team Canada goaltending was answered in five games as Price stood on his head and proved to the nation that goaltending in Canada isn’t anything to be concerned about.

Price may have played outstanding, but a lot of the credit for his steadiness has to go to the players in front of him. The Canadian defence were by far the best in the tournament and not only were they strong defensively but they were instrumental in the team’s offense for the most part of the tournament.

Drew Doughty and Shea Weber tied for sixth in tournament point totals as Doughty recorded four goals and two assists while Weber tallied three goals and three assists for six points.

The defensive game was never in question for Team Canada but when it came to goals from their top forwards it was actually hard to come by besides their 6-0 triumph over Austria in which Jeff Carter scored a hat trick.

After a mediocre 2010 tournament that ended with the magical golden goal for Canada, Sidney Crosby was pressured to lead the offensive charge and guide his team to glory. Despite his solid play throughout the first five games of the tournament, the point total wasn’t too high as he was held goal less and only had recorded two assists.

Jonathan Toews was another forward who was looked at to lead Canada, but he was also not able to score a goal in the team’s first five games. Both Crosby and Toews were commanding defensively while creating many scoring chances, but could never quite put the puck in the back of the net.

However, after all pre-tournament questions were based around the defensive side of the game and not focused on the offensive fire power that Canada displayed, the opposite had occurred and they were now in tough against the solid defensive Sweden team in the gold medal game.

Lucky enough for Canada, when it comes to big moments, their big and best players stepped up and did exactly what was expecting of them the entire tournament. Toews scored in the first period to give Canada a 1-0 lead and then captain Crosby scored on a breakaway to push the advantage to 2-0.

After all of the criticism that faced the premier players of Team Canada, they did what was needed from them and stepped up when it counted most. In a great defensive effort, dominance was an understatement to what Canada did to Sweden as they controlled the entire game en route to a 3-0 victory.

The IIHF men’s world rankings have Canada in third place behind Finland and Sweden but with three gold medals in the last five Olympics, it’s a no brainer that Canadian hockey is the best in the world.

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