Archive for OG – Canada

Boundless Joy North Of The Border

The "Toronto Girl Out West" holds up her ticket to the Finland-United States semifinal match for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (TorontoGirloutWest photo)

The "Toronto Girl Out West" holds up her ticket to the Finland-United States semifinal match for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (TorontoGirloutWest photo)

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Okay, we’re catching up with the written match reports. Only the Gold Medal Game remains to be done. The ‘pictoral match reports’, an in-tournament adjustment made by the technical directorship here, are moving along as well. The semifinal displays for Finland-United States and Canada-Slovakia are officially finished and on offer for all to enjoy.

We started in on the visual aids for the Bronze Medal Match and we have collected a bazillion photos to go back and place in ALL the match reports for the entire Vancouver tournament. Some matches are already done but many are not. Perhaps we should post a chart for convienence.

In the meantime, as we continue to catch up here, we will try a little cultural exchange stuff for a fun change of pace :

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Anybody who knows even the slightest thing about the sport of ice hockey understands that, with all due respect the rest of the world, there are not a people on this Earth more collectively passionate about the game than the inhabitants of Canada.

So, if only for me, it is interesting to see what the Canadians themselves were up to over the course of the Olympic tournament.

This blogger, “Toronto Girl Out West” from the site

http://tobethewholepackage.blogspot.com/2010/03/its-gold-its-gold-its-gold.html 

actually linked here first.

A big part of what makes this particular blog interesting is that hers is not a hockey blog per se as is this place here. Then again, therein lies the beauty.

The author has some very interesting articles about her Olympic experiences in Vancouver. Included in the “Road To The Gold” piece is a bit of insight as to how regular, everyday citizens in Canada secured a ticket to the Olympic semifinals of the men’s ice hockey tournament. Also on offer are some photos from the Finland-United States match as well as a recap of some other activities enjoyed that day in Vancouver which included the watching of the Canada-Slovakia semifinal at a public venue. (more photos and youtube footage included)

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The view for the "Toronto Girl Out West" at the Finland-United States semifinal match from Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (TorontoGirloutWest photo)
The view for the “Toronto Girl Out West” at the Finland-United States semifinal match from Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (TorontoGirloutWest photo)

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“It’s Gold! It’s Gold! It’s Gold!” is a wonderful essay which exemplifies the boundless pride and joy the game of ice hockey brings to the Canadian people.  

My brother and I, the two yo-yos who produce this site, would have preferred our home nation, the United States, to have won the Olympic finals. My brother, who lives just outside San Francisco, was genuinely disappointed when Crosby scored in overtime. For me in southeastern Pennsylvania, I was just glad the game turned out to be an excellent one; I had gotten nervous after Canada had gone up by two.

Personally, I like to pull for the underdog Germans first and foremost.

In many respects, I am very glad for the Canadians. It is beyond an accurate statement to say the gold medal for ice hockey means more to the average Canadian than it would for the average American. The comments at the Toronto Girl’s place provide a priceless portal to the very heart of Canada itself, if only for me.

Everyone else can decide for themselves.

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Canada 3 – United States 2 : Gold Medal Match Report

The victorious bench clears moments after SIDNEY CROSBY's overtime goal gives Canada a dramatic 3-2 decision over the United States in the Gold Medal Game of the ice hockey tournament at the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver, Canada. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

The victorious bench clears moments after SIDNEY CROSBY's overtime goal gives Canada a dramatic 3-2 decision over the United States in the Gold Medal Game of the ice hockey tournament at the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver, Canada. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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And so, for the second time the past three Winter Olympiad, the final would again be contested by the two North American rivals. As had been the case at Salt Lake City eight years ago, continental neighbors CANADA and the UNITED STATES would compete in the Gold Medal Game for the right to be crowned the Olympic champion for the 2010. Another genuine border war for the Olympic final - which would make television executives and their sponsors in both participating countries smile, if nothing else.

The United States, despite fielding a young and inexperienced squad, matured quickly in Vancouver and benefited from magnificent, if not timely, goaltending from RYAN MILLER all tournament. Confidence cruised at a comfortable altitude for the U.S. squad, particularly in light of the blitzkrieg of Finland at the semi-final hurdle. And, of course, the Americans had already conquered the Canadians in the round-robin at the Vancouver Games.

For Canada, anything less than a gold medal in ice hockey for an Olympic tournment held in the Great White North will always be viewed by the citizenry as a terrible disappointment.

The loss to the United States, on the heels of a close shave with Switzerland, very much shook a sleeping giant. Canada changed goaltenders after the American misadventure as the future Hall of Fame member MARTIN BRODEUR was replaced by the lone Vancouver Canuck player on the Olympic host nation’s roster, ROBERTO LUONGO. A rout of Germany resulted and was followed by the relatively-easy victory over Russia — Canada had found its form.

Still, in spite of the earlier round-robin setback, Canada continued to hold an overwhelming historical record of 56 wins, 9 losses with four ties against the Americans at major international events entering the Gold Medal Game in Vancouver.

The ingredients for an epic clash had been sufficently collected and the game itself certainly did not disappoint.

to be continued…

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CANADA 3 – UNITED STATES 2 — (overtime)

Shots-on-goal :  Canada 39 – United States 36

CAN goals :  Toews, Perry, Crosby 

USA goals :  Kesler, Parise

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Canada forward SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the Pittsburgh Penquins and United States defenseman TIM GLEASON (4) of the Carolina Hurricanes cross paths at center ice before the start of the Gold Medal Game of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Professional relationships mean nothing at the Winter Games, particularly with the Olympic gold medal at stake. Here, Canada defenseman DAN BOYLE (22) of the San Jose Sharks is effectively boarded by his National Hockey League teammate, United States forward JOE PAVELSKI, in the Olympic final at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Professional relationships mean nothing at the Winter Games, particularly with the Olympic gold medal at stake. Here, Canada defenseman DAN BOYLE (22) of the San Jose Sharks is effectively boarded by his National Hockey League teammate, United States forward JOE PAVELSKI, in the Olympic final at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Another angle of the American Pavelski (16) pounding the Canadian Boyle (22) into the boards in the Gold Medal Game of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Another angle of the American Pavelski (16) pounding the Canadian Boyle (22) into the boards in the Gold Medal Game of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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United States forward JOE PAVELSKI (16), a former University of Wisconsin player, upends Canada’s star forward SIDNEY CROSBY (87) in front of the Olympic host nation’s bench at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Canada’s DANY HEATLEY (15), a one-time University of Wisconsin Badger, is headed for a seat on the American bench as United States defenseman BROOKS ORPIK (44), a native of San Francisco and a former Boston College player, observes in the Gold Medal Game at Canada Hockey Place. (Reuters photo)

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The Pittsburgh Penquin Orpik (44) remains on hand to ensure the Canadian Heatley enjoys a generous helping of American hospitality on the San Jose Shark’s visit to the United States bench during the Gold Medal Game of the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)  

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United States forward RYAN KESLER (17) of the Olympic host city's Vancouver Canucks checks the host nation's star player, SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins, into the boards in a bid for the puck at Canada Hockey Place. Both players would register their names on the scoresheet of the Gold Medal Game at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. (Matt Slocum/AP)

United States forward RYAN KESLER (17) of the Olympic host city's Vancouver Canucks checks the host nation's star player, SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins, into the boards in a bid for the puck at Canada Hockey Place. Both players would register their names on the scoresheet of the Gold Medal Game at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. (Matt Slocum/AP)

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Canada were never prepared to have the United States push them around on home ice in the Gold Medal Game from Vancouver. Here, Canada's DANY HEATLEY (15) delivers a forearm to the face of United States defenseman JACK JOHNSON (3) of the Los Angeles Kings at Canada Hockey Place. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Canada were never prepared to have the United States push them around on home ice in the Gold Medal Game from Vancouver. Here, Canada's DANY HEATLEY (15) delivers a forearm to the face of United States defenseman JACK JOHNSON (3) of the Los Angeles Kings at Canada Hockey Place. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Canada defenseman BRENT SEABROOK (7), Chicago Black Hawks personnel indigenous to British Columbia, shoves United States forward BOBBY RYAN (54) at the boards in the Gold Medal Game at the Vancouver Games. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 

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Canada's COREY PERRY (24) of the Anaheim Ducks deals a knock on the back of the neck for United States forward DUSTIN BROWN (32) of the Los Angeles Kings right in front of the American bench during the Gold Medal Game of the Vancouver Games. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Canada's COREY PERRY (24) of the Anaheim Ducks deals a knock on the back of the neck for United States forward DUSTIN BROWN (32) of the Los Angeles Kings right in front of the American bench during the Gold Medal Game of the Vancouver Games. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Canadian forward RYAN GETZLAFF (51) gets the better of American defenseman BRIAN RAFALSKI (28) during the championship match of the 2010 Winter Olympics from Canada Hockey Place. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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The linesmen move to get between Canada’s RYAN GETZLAFF (51) of the Anaheim Ducks and United States defenseman JACK JOHNSON (3) as Getzlaff’s National Hockey League teammate, Canada’s CORREY PERRY (24), ponders the situation. On hand for the U.S. are defenseman BROOKS ORPIK (44) as well as the two New York Rangers, RYAN CALLAHAN (24) and CHRIS DRURY (23), as the rush for gold continues at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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The on-ice officials at Vancouver were always going to have their hands full maintaining good order with the clash of North American neighbors in the Gold Medal Game at Canada Hockey Place. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 

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The United States quite literally came closest to scoring first --- Canada goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO starts the close shave with the save from American forward DUSTIN BROWN (32), who is dumped by his sliding NHL squadmate, defenseman DREW DOUGHTY (8) of the Los Angeles Kings in the Gold Medal Game at the Vancouver Olympics. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The United States quite literally came closest to scoring first --- Canada goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO starts the close shave with the save from American forward DUSTIN BROWN (32), who is dumped by his sliding NHL squadmate, defenseman DREW DOUGHTY (8) of the Los Angeles Kings in the Gold Medal Game at the Vancouver Olympics. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

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Another angle for the collision of Kings involving the American attacker Brown (32) and the Canadian Doughty (8) at the side of the net as the goaltender Luongo looks to reign in the loose puck. Arriving on the scene is the eventual savior of a dangerous situation, Canadian defenseman DUNCAN KEITH (2), who will soon clear the puck off his own goal line. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Canada did, in fact, score first — at the far right of the frame, Canadian forward JONATHAN TOEWS (16) of the Chicago Black Hawksv collects a rebound off of the stick of Philadelphia Flyers forward MIKE RICHARDS (18) and tests the skills of United States goalie RYAN MILLER of the Buffalo Sabres (39) at Canada Hockey Place. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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The shot of Toews has beaten Miller and is headed top shelf to give host nation Canada a 1-0 lead in Vancouver. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images) 

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The puck, having beaten Miller for the crucial first goal of the 2010 Gold Medal Game from Vancouver, falls to the ice just inside the post on the right side at Canada Hockey Place. Looking on are United States defenseman ERIK JOHNSON (6) of the St. Louis Blues as well as the American captain, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER (15) of the New Jersey Devils. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) 

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From a Canadian perspective, the Chicago Black Hawk Toews has certainly picked a fine time to find the back of the net for his first goal of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Toews (16), an NCAA champion at the University of North Dakota in 2006, raises his stick after beating Miller (39), a two-time NCAA titlist at Michigan State University, as the referee moves to signal the opening goal of the Gold Medal Game at the Vancouver Olympics. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Struggling to maintain balance, Toews (16) still moves to celebrate his monstrous goal in the Olympic final from Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Chicago Black Hawks defenseman DUNCAN KEITH (2) taps his NHL teammate, JONATHAN TOEWS (16) on the helmet as an ever-expectant host nation makes some noise following the first goal of the Gold Medal Game at Canada Hockey Place. (Harry How/Getty Images) 

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Canada 3 – Slovakia 2 : Match Report

Canada's RYAN GETLZAFF (51) celebrates his goal from his knees while COREY PERRY (24) and BRENDEN MORROW (10) elate in the semifinals of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver. Getzlaff's goal ultimately proved to be the game-winner. Meanwhile, star forward MARIAN HOSSA (81) skates away for Slovakia. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Canada's RYAN GETLZAFF (51) celebrates his goal from his knees while COREY PERRY (24) and BRENDEN MORROW (10) elate in the semifinals of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver. Getzlaff's goal ultimately proved to be the game-winner. Meanwhile, star forward MARIAN HOSSA (81) skates away for Slovakia. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

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Both CANADA and SLOVAKIA had each lost to their neighbors and rival, the United States and the Czech Republic, respectively, in the round-robin at the Vancouver Games and yet recovered to reach the semifinals opposite one another at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The very first time the two nations ever met, at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, the Slovaks actually upset Canada 3-1 in the round-robin on their debut at a major international tournament; that was before the National Hockey League would shut down to so as to let it’s players participate at the Olympics, however. 

Canada obviously had answered some sort of wake-up call after their loss to the Americans. The Canucks proceeded to pound Germany 8-2 then dust Russia 7-3 on their way to the semifinals at Canada Hockey Place. For the first forty or so minutes against Slovakia, Canada continued to be in complete command and on course to fulfill their mission in Vancouver.

Canada struck for two goals in the opening period. Thirteen and a half minutes in, after fine work from San Jose Sharks star DANY HEATLEY, his NHL teammate, PATRICK MARLEAU, tipped the right point shot from Nashville Predators defenseman SHEA WEBER down and past Slovak goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK of the Montreal Canadiens. Halak protested a high stick from Marleau but the goal survived scrutiny. Less than two minutes later, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman CHRIS PRONGER’s wrist shot from the left point was deflected by Dallas Stars forward BRENDEN MORROW past Halak for the 2-0 lead.

Canada controlled play for the first two periods as the Slovaks were content to conservatively absorb pressure and play for the counterattack; the Canadians counted a 21-9 lead in shots-on-goal for the first forty minutes.

Late in the second period, Canada would extend the score to 3-0 on the power play with just over three minutes to go in the second period. Anaheim Ducks forward COREY PERRY let go a wrist shot from the top of the left circle which was halted by Halak, but Perry’s teammate RYAN GETZLAFF, while falling to his knees, backhanded the puck top shelf for what would prove to be a critical goal. Slovak captain and defenseman ZDENO CHARA of the Boston Bruins had been left with both Getzlaff as well as Morrow to contend with in front.

While Canada were appearing in the semifinals for the third time in four Olympic tournaments, the Slovaks, meanwhile, had never progressed this far at the Winter Olympics before. In the final twenty minutes, the Slovaks clearly attempted to make the most of their chance.

A little past the halfway point of the third period, Edmonton Oilers defenseman LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY, on his 76th career appearance at a major international tournament for Slovakia, made an outstanding play to keep the puck in the zone at the Canadian blueline. Visnovsky immediately thereafter rounded Getzlaff and raced down the right wing. The 33-year-old rearguard centered the puck upon reaching the goal line and put Slovakia on the board when the black disc was deflected behind ROBERTO LUONGO of the Vancouver Canucks into Canada’s goal. 

With just under five minutes remaining in the match, Slovakia drew to within one of the host nation. Veteran NHLer RICHARD ZEDNIK of Russian club Torpedo Yaroslavl, after fine work with the puck on the cycle behind the Canadian goal, circled out front for a backhand attempt at Luongo, who made the save. Standing in front, however, was MICHAL HANDZUS of the Los Angeles Kings, who tapped the puck out of mid-air past Luongo into the top-shelf.

A tense finish followed as the Slovaks, who outshot Canada 12-7 in the final period, continued to press their attack.  

With Halak on the bench for an extra skater as well as dogged forechecking, Slovakia spent the entire final minute on the offensive in Canada’s zone. Chicago Black Hawks star MARIAN HOSSA’s wrist shot from the top of the right circle, after working its way through traffic in front, found itself on the stick of PAVEL DEMITRA of the host city Vancouver Canucks at the right side of the net. With Luongo out of position and the net looming large, however, Demitra missed the mark with Slovakia’s last opportunity.

Breathing a collective sigh of relief, Canada advanced to the Gold Medal Match for the second time in three Olympic tournaments.  

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CANADA 3 – SLOVAKIA 2

Shots-on-goal :  Canada 28 – Slovakia 21

CAN goals :  Marleau, Morrow, Getzlaff

SVK goals :  Visnovsky, Handzus

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Slovakia forward TOMAS KOPECKY (82) of the Chicago Black Hawks hammers Canada defenseman CHRIS PRONGER (20) against the boards in the semifinals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Kopecky scored the game-winning-goal for Slovakia, his first-ever for his country at a major international event, against Sweden in the quarterfinals. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

Slovakia forward TOMAS KOPECKY (82) of the Chicago Black Hawks hammers Canada defenseman CHRIS PRONGER (20) against the boards in the semifinals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Kopecky scored the game-winning-goal for Slovakia, his first-ever for his country at a major international event, against Sweden in the quarterfinals. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

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Slovakia defenseman MILAN JURCINA (68) of the Columbus Blue Jackets cross-checks Canada's SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins during the Olympic semifinals at Canada Hockey Place. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Slovakia defenseman MILAN JURCINA (68) of the Columbus Blue Jackets cross-checks Canada's SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins during the Olympic semifinals at Canada Hockey Place. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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Canada's JAROME IGINLA (12) fishes for the puck in the skates of Slovakia's MARTIN CIBAK (8) as Canada's SHEA WEBER (6) wipes out at the boards in Vancouver. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Canada's JAROME IGINLA (12) fishes for the puck in the skates of Slovakia's MARTIN CIBAK (8) as Canada's SHEA WEBER (6) wipes out at the boards in Vancouver. (Matt Slocum/AP)

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Slovakia's MARTIN CIBAK (8) of Russian club Spartak Moscow checks Canada's game-winning-goal scorer RYAN GETLZAFF (51) against the boards in the Olympic semifinals from Vancouver. Cibak played 154 NHL games in four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization before signing to play in Sweden to start the 2006-07 schedule. The 29-year-old center joined Spartak this season from Swedish club SK Sodertalje. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Slovakia's MARTIN CIBAK (8) of Russian club Spartak Moscow checks Canada's game-winning-goal scorer RYAN GETLZAFF (51) against the boards in the Olympic semifinals from Vancouver. Cibak played 154 NHL games in four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization before signing to play in Sweden to start the 2006-07 schedule. The 29-year-old center joined Spartak this season from Swedish club SK Sodertalje. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Slovakia defenseman ANDREJ MESZAROS (14) of the Tampa Bay Lightning mashes Canada forward DANY HEATLEY (15) of the San Jose Sharks into the plexiglass at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. Heatley came into the semifinal match second on Canada with four goals after five games at the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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As the ice shavings fly, the Slovak defenseman Jurcina and Canadian forward Heatly converge in a jarring collision along the boards at the Olympic semifinals in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

As the ice shavings fly, the Slovak defenseman Jurcina and Canadian forward Heatly converge in a jarring collision along the boards at the Olympic semifinals in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Slovak defender Jurcina (68) and the Canadian attacker Heatley (15) cross swords, er, ah, sticks along the boards at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Slovakia forward TOMAS KOPECKY (82) absorbs an elbow to the back of the neck from Canada forward BRENDEN MORROW (10) at the advertising-free, muraled boards in the Olympic semifinals from Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Slovakia forward TOMAS KOPECKY (82) absorbs an elbow to the back of the neck from Canada forward BRENDEN MORROW (10) at the advertising-free, muraled boards in the Olympic semifinals from Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Canadian Dallas Star Morrow (10) makes sure the Slovakian Chicago Black Hawk Kopecky (82) is contained in the Olympic semifinals at the Vancouver Games. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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The Slovak forward Kopecky catches a stick in the mid-section from Canada defenseman SHEA WEBER (6) in pursuit of the puck at the 2010 Winter Olympic semifinal match in Vancouver. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

The Slovak forward Kopecky catches a stick in the mid-section from Canada defenseman SHEA WEBER (6) in pursuit of the puck at the 2010 Winter Olympic semifinal match in Vancouver. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

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The Canadian defenseman Weber dumps the Slovakian forward BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC (92) of Russian club Spartak Moscow in the Olympic semifinals at the Vancouver Games. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Canada's PATRICK MARLEAU (11) deflects the puck down and through the five-hole of Slovakia goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK to give Canada a 1-0 lead thirteen and a half minutes into the Olympic semifinal in Vancouver. LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (17) defends in vain for the Slovaks. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

Canada's PATRICK MARLEAU (11) deflects the puck down and through the five-hole of Slovakia goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK to give Canada a 1-0 lead thirteen and a half minutes into the Olympic semifinal in Vancouver. LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (17) defends in vain for the Slovaks. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

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Slovakia defenseman MARTIN STRBAK (77) follows the black disc through the legs of the goaltender Halak (41) and into the back of the net for the first goal of the game in the Olympic semifinal opposite Canada at Canada Hockey Place. Halak, himself, has his head turned and knows he has been beaten, as well. (Getty Images photo)

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PATRICK MARLEAU (15), at the back of the pack, and the rest of the goal-makers greet Canada's bench after breaking the ice at the 2010 Winter Olympic semifinal match versus Slovakia in Vancouver. DANY HEATLEY (15) had done yeoman work along the boards in the offensive zone; SHEA WEBER (6), leading the procession, generated the point shot for Marleau to deflect. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

PATRICK MARLEAU (15), at the back of the pack, and the rest of the goal-makers greet Canada's bench after breaking the ice at the 2010 Winter Olympic semifinal match versus Slovakia in Vancouver. DANY HEATLEY (15) had done yeoman work along the boards in the offensive zone; SHEA WEBER (6), leading the procession, generated the point shot for Marleau to deflect. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

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Canada forward BRENDEN MORROW (10), with one hand on his hockey stick, is already preparing to celebrate his puck passing the right pad of Slovakia goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK (41) just inside the goalpost for a 2-0 Canadian lead in the Olympic semifinals at Canada Hockey Place. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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The full emotion of the moment manifests itself as Morrow marks his second goal of the 2010 Vancouver Games after deflecting the defenseman Pronger’s wrist shot from the point past Halak of Slovakia. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) 

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Morrow pumps his fist and has a shout for Canada as the Montreal Canadiens goaltender Halak (41) and Edmonton Oilers defenseman LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (17) have discussions for Slovakia after falling behind 2-0 in the Olympic semifinal at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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23-year-old Canadian center SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the NHL champion Pittsburgh Penquins eyes the puck in the midst of the hook from Slovakia’s veteran NHL pivot, 37-year-old JOZEF STUMPEL (15) of Kazakh club Barys Astana, in the semifinals at the Vancouver Games. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) 

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Canada’s Crosby (87) shields the puck from the pursuit of Slovakia’s Meszaros (14) in the semifinals at the 2010 Winter Games from Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Canada's BRENDEN MORROW (10) watches the shot of the not-pictured RYAN GETZLAFF go past the left shoulder of Slovakia goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK with defenseman ZDENO CHARA (33) in front. Getzlaff's late second period goal gave Canada a 3-0 lead in the Olympic semifinal at the Vancouver Games. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Canada's BRENDEN MORROW (10) watches the shot of the not-pictured RYAN GETZLAFF go past the left shoulder of Slovakia goaltender JAROSLAV HALAK with defenseman ZDENO CHARA (33) in front. Getzlaff's late second period goal gave Canada a 3-0 lead in the Olympic semifinal at the Vancouver Games. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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The Slovakian goaltender Halak (41) turns his head in time to see the puck cross the plane of the goal as Chara (33) can only watch. Canada's Morrow (10) is already in the midst of raising his stick for celebrations. (Matt Slocum/AP)

The Slovakian goaltender Halak (41) turns his head in time to see the puck cross the plane of the goal as Chara (33) can only watch. Canada's Morrow (10) is already in the midst of raising his stick for celebrations. (Matt Slocum/AP)

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The puck to the right rebounds off the net on its way down to the ice surface at Canada Hockey Place in the semifinals at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Matt Slocum/AP)

The puck to the right rebounds off the net on its way down to the ice surface at Canada Hockey Place in the semifinals at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (Matt Slocum/AP)

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RYAN GETZLAFF (51), on his knees, raises his stick to signify his backhand shot which has beaten Halak. Getzlaff’s goal, his third of the Olympic tournament, will ultimately provide Canada its passage to the Gold Medal Game at the Winter Games in Vancouver. (Harry How/Getty Images).

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Slovakia were not prepared to go down without a fight in the semifinals at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here, Slovakian forward RICHARD ZEDNIK (20) hits the deck due to the defending of Canadian rearguard DREW DOUGHTY of the Los Angeles Kings. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Slovakia forward TOMAS KOPECKY (82) of the Chicago Black Hawks is cross-checked by Canada defenseman CHRIS PRONGER (20) of the Philadelphia Flyers in front of the net at the Winter Games semifinal in Vancouver. Looking around for the puck is Canadian netminder ROBERTO LUONGO of the Olympic host city’s Vancouver Canucks. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Slovak Kopecky cuts off the Canadian defenseman Doughty at the muraled pass in the chase for the puck at the 2010 Vancouver Games from Canada Hockey Place. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Slovakia forward ZIGMUND PALFFY (24) of HK 36 Skalica, the top point scorer at the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer, arrives to celebrate the late third period goal of Slovakia defenseman LUBOMIR VISONOVSKY (17) in the semifinals at the 2010 Winter Games from Vancouver. Also on hand to mark Visnovsky's now-even dozen goals for the Slovaks at major international events are JOZEF STUMPEL (15) of Kazakh club Barys Astana, MARTIN STRBAK (77) of Russian club HK MVD Tver and MARCEL HOSSA (91) of Latvian club Dynamo Riga. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Slovakia forward ZIGMUND PALFFY (24) of HK 36 Skalica, the top point scorer at the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer, arrives to celebrate the late third period goal of Slovakia defenseman LUBOMIR VISONOVSKY (17) in the semifinals at the 2010 Winter Games from Vancouver. Also on hand to mark Visnovsky's now-even dozen goals for the Slovaks at major international events are JOZEF STUMPEL (15) of Kazakh club Barys Astana, MARTIN STRBAK (77) of Russian club HK MVD Tver and MARCEL HOSSA (91) of Latvian club Dynamo Riga. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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Slovakia’s RICHARD ZEDNIK (20) circles out from behind the net as Canada goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO (1) and defenseman DUNCAN KEITH (2) concentrate late in the third period of the Olympic semifinals inVancouver. Zednik is about to backhand a shot which Luongo will stop, but not handle the subsequent rebound of. Slovak forward MICHAL HANDZUS has himself at the ready behind Keith in front of goal. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Slovakia's MICHAL HANDZUS (26), with his hand high, looks down at the puck he just batted out of mid-air past Canada goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO to trim the deficit to a single goal late in the Olympic semifinal match at Canada Hockey Place. PATRICK MARLEAU (11), DUNCAN KEITH (2) and PATRICE BERGERON (37) are the Canadians who cannot help the seated Luongo. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Slovakia's MICHAL HANDZUS (26), with his hand high, looks down at the puck he just batted out of mid-air past Canada goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO to trim the deficit to a single goal late in the Olympic semifinal match at Canada Hockey Place. PATRICK MARLEAU (11), DUNCAN KEITH (2) and PATRICE BERGERON (37) are the Canadians who cannot help the seated Luongo. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

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Shortly after narrowing Slovakia’s deficit to one, a hollering Handzus (26) is about to receive adulations from defenseman ZDENO CHARA (33) as well as forwards RICHARD ZEDNIK (20) and MIROSLAV SATAN (18) late in the third period of the 2010 Winter Olympic semifinal from Vancouver. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Canada goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO (1) of the Olympic host city’s National Hockey League Vancouver Canucks lifts his stick high at the final horn of the Winter Games semifinal match at Canada Hockey Place. The Slovaks sustained a desperate attack in the final minute and squandered one final chance when Luongo’s NHL teammate, PAVOL DEMITRA (38), missed a wide open net. Here, Demitra is just behind Canadian defenseman DREW DOUGHTY (8) of the Los Angeles Kings. (Harry How/Getty Images)

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Teammates with the Pittsburgh Penquins two springs ago, adversaries in the Stanley Cup finals last season — Slovakia’s MARIAN HOSSA (81) and Canada’s SIDNEY CROSBY (87) meet again in the hand-shake line at the conclusion of the semifinals at the 2010 Olympic Games from Vancouver. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Canada 7 – Russia 3 : Match Report

Russia's VIKTOR KOZLOV (52) skates away as Canada's RYAN GETZLAFF (51) gets a hug from DAN BOYLE (22) while Corey PERRY (24) and DUNCAN KEITH (2) look to join the celebration. Getzlaff's goal just 2:21 into the game sparked Canada to a surprisingly-simple 7-3 quarterfinal romp over Russia at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Russia's VIKTOR KOZLOV (52) skates away as Canada's RYAN GETZLAFF (51) gets a hug from DAN BOYLE (22) while Corey PERRY (24) and DUNCAN KEITH (2) look to join the celebration. Getzlaff's goal just 2:21 into the game sparked Canada to a surprisingly-simple 7-3 quarterfinal romp over Russia at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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As was the case in Turin four years earlier, historical hockey rivals CANADA and RUSSIA were drawn to meet in the quarterfinal round at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The results this time around were quite different, indeed, if not downright shocking. In fact, by the time Canadian defenseman SHEA WEBER of the Nashville Predators had scored to open up a 6-1 lead four minutes into the second period, all this author had to say about the proceedings in Vancover was — Oh! Canada!

RYAN GETZLAFF of the Anaheim Ducks triggered the offensive outburst with a goal for Canada just two and a half minutes into the game. San Jose Sharks rearguard DAN BOYLE, with a rush down the left that started in his own defensive zone, provided the crossing pass which left Getzlaff a gaping net to shoot at.  

Ten minutes later, with the man-advantage, Boyle circled in his own end to start a Canadian play which culminated with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle by the San Jose defender that beat his National Hockey League teammate, Russian goaltender EVGENY NABOKOV, to double Canada’s lead.

Less than sixty seconds following Boyle’s goal, RICK NASH of the Columbus Blue Jackets changed the scoreboard to show 3-0 for Canada with not even thirteen minutes of the match played.

Canada’s JONATHAN TOEWS of the Chicago Black Hawks and Philadelphia Flyers forward MIKE RICHARDS combined to strip Pittsburgh Penquins star forward EVGENY MALKIN of the puck at the Russian point. A smart pass from Richards sent Toews off on the counter, allowing the streaking Nash to put a puck over the stacked pads of Nabokov.

Russia did attempt to revive themselves shortly thereafter. Defenseman DMITRI KALININ of Salavat Yulayev Ufa connected with a wrist shot from the left point past Canada’s starting goaltender, ROBERTO LUONGO of the Olympic host city’s Vancouver Canucks, roughly fourteen and a half minutes in. For Kalinin, the score was the product of what would be the Russian rearguard’s only official shot-on-goal the whole of the 2010 Winter Games tournament.

But, whatever momentum Russia may have gained was lost on account of Canada’s BRENDEN MORROW with under two minutes to go in the opening period. At equal strength, the Dallas Stars forward secured a puck from Boyle along the boards behind the goalline and promptly skated out in front unchallenged. A backhander underneath Nabokov gave Canada a commanding 4-1 lead. 

The situation did not improve for Russia to start the second period. Three minutes after the intermission break, Canada became the beneficiaries of good fortune when COREY PERRY of the Anaheim Ducks found himself with the puck and a wide open net. Perry’s NHL teammate, Getzlaff, had gotten his wrist shot on the rush into the offensive zone deflected by Russian defenseman ILYA NIKULIN of Ak Bars Kazan with Nabokov out to cut the angle.

Canada’s goal from Weber less than sixty seconds after Perry scored finally sent the San Jose Sharks goaltender to the showers for Russia. For Nabokov, the six goals allowed (on 23 shots) in twenty-four minutes at Vancouver stood in stark contrast to the shutout the 34-year-old had served up for Russia against Canada four years earlier in Italy. And so, Phoenix Coyotes goaltender ILYA BRYZGALOV was sent out by Russian coach VYACHESLAV BYKOV. 

A quick goal from MAXIM AFINOGENOV of the Atlanta Thrashers might have augmented any criticism of a belated decision by Bykov, but a second goal from Perry nine minutes into the second period certainly confirmed Canadian overall superiority on the night at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver.

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CANADA 7 – RUSSIA 3

Shots-on-goal :  Canada 42 – Russia 28

CAN goals :  Perry 2, Getzlaff, Boyle, Nash, Morrow, Weber

RUS goals:  Kalinin, Afinogenov, Gonchar

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Russian defenseman ANTON VOLCHENKOV (6) is double-teamed by Canada's BRENDEN MORROW (10) and COREY PERRY (24) along the boards at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Russian defenseman ANTON VOLCHENKOV (6) is double-teamed by Canada's BRENDEN MORROW (10) and COREY PERRY (24) along the boards at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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Morrow does not make out as well as Volchenkov and heads for the ice surface at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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to be continued…

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Canada 8 – Germany 2 : Match Report

Canada's JAROME IGINLA (12) scores his second and Canada's fourth goal against Germany goaltender THOMAS GREISS almost nine minutes into the second period as German forward SVEN FELSKI (11) and Canadian defenseman DREW DOUGHTY (8) fight in front at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Host nation Canada hammered Germany on home ice 8-2 and advances to face historical rival Russia in the quarterfinal round. Iginla scored a hat trick in Canada's 8-0 opening-game victory over Norway in Vancouver. (Hans Deryk/Reuters)

Canada's JAROME IGINLA (12) scores his second and Canada's fourth goal against Germany goaltender THOMAS GREISS almost nine minutes into the second period as German forward SVEN FELSKI (11) and Canadian defenseman DREW DOUGHTY (8) fight in front at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Host nation Canada hammered Germany on home ice 8-2 and advances to face historical rival Russia in the quarterfinal round. Iginla scored a hat trick in Canada's 8-0 opening-game victory over Norway in Vancouver. (Hans Deryk/Reuters)

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GERMANY were always going to need good goaltending in their quarterfinal qualification match with CANADA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver but that certainly did not materialize by the end of the evening in the Canadian western province of British Columbia.

The Germans were able to hang with the Canada for about a period, but not much more.

Two second period goals from Calgary Flame JAROME IGINLA, who notched a hat trick versus Norway on opening day, opened the floodgates as the Canadians lit the lamp three times in the first eight minutes of the middle period; four goals poured in for Canada over the final twenty minutes. Aside from Iginla, six other players registered a goal for Canada while ERIC STAAL of the Carolina Hurricanes contributed three assists in the match.

Meanwhile, another performance featuring a lot of something left to be desired from Germany’s starting goaltender, THOMAS GREISS of the San Jose Sharks.

MARCEL GOC of the Nashville Predators and MANUEL KLINGE of EC Kassel, with just one minute remaining, scored goals to salvage a measure of German pride.

And so the Germans close out a terribly disappointing showing with the heavy loss to host nation Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Another Olympics of underachievement, as matters have it. The Germans have now gone twelve consecutive matches (ten losses, two ties) without a victory in ice hockey at the Winter Olympics dating back to the Salt Lake City Games of 2002.

Not a whole lot of momentum gathered this February in North America as the German national team heads for the annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships this spring — which will be held in Germany.

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CANADA 8 – GERMANY 2

Shots-on-goal :  Canada 39 – Germany 23

CAN goals: Iginla 2, Thornton, Weber, Crosby, Richards, Niedermayer, Nash

GER goals: Goc, Klinge

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Canada defenseman CHRIS PRONGER (20) skates off after hitting Germany forward KAI HOSPELT (18) as Canadian goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO (1) looks on at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. (Matt Slocum/AP photo)

Canada defenseman CHRIS PRONGER (20) skates off after hitting Germany forward KAI HOSPELT (18) as Canadian goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO (1) looks on at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. (Matt Slocum/AP photo)

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Canada defenseman CHRIS PRONGER (20) of the Philadelphia Flyers is pressed up against the glass by German forward JOHN TRIPP (21) of the Hamburg Freezers. Tripp, a native Canadian and former 2nd round draft pick of the Calgary Flames, played 43 NHL games (2 go 7 as, 9 pts) for the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. Tripp played seven seasons of professional hockey at four different levels in North America before heading to play in the German elite league to start the 2004-05 campaign. (Hans Deryk/Reuters)

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With the black disc down in his skates, Canada’s BRENDEN MORROW (10) of the Dallas Stars hits Germany’s JOCHEN HECHT (17) of the Buffalo Sabres at the Canadian bench in Vancouver. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Canada’s BRENDEN MORROW (10) mashes Germany’s MANUEL KLINGE against the boards during the host nation’s demolition of Deutschland at the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Jean Levac/CNS) 

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Canada’s ERIC STAAL (21) collides with Germany’s Czechoslovak-born defenseman, JAKUB FICENCEC (38). Staal collected three assists in Canada’s 8-2 rout of Germany in Vancouver. (Shaun Best/Reuters) 

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Canadian superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins checks German defenseman MICHAEL BAKOS (22) of ERC Ingolstadt at the Winter Games in Vancouver. (Matt Slocum/AP)

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Canadian forward JAROME IGINLA (12) of the Calgary Flames squashes German defenseman ALEXANDER SULZER (52) of the Nashville Predators at the boards in Vancouver. Iginla helped break the game open with a pair of goals inside five minutes apart early in the second period to give Canada a commanding 4-1 lead. (Jean Levac/CNS) 

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to be continued…

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Germany Need Viennese Luck Versus Canada In Vancouver

German defenseman CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF, then a San Jose Shark, is congratulated by CHRISTOPH SCHUBERT (13) and DANIEL KREUTZER (26) as captain STEFAN USTDORF (16) skates over at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Ehrhoff has just scored to cut the Canadian lead to 3-1 in the second period. Canada will eventually defeat Germany 5-1 in the Group B round-robin match. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

German defenseman CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF, then a San Jose Shark, is congratulated by CHRISTOPH SCHUBERT (13) and DANIEL KREUTZER (26) as captain STEFAN USTDORF (16) skates over at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Ehrhoff has just scored to cut the Canadian lead to 3-1 in the second period. Canada will eventually defeat Germany 5-1 in the Group B round-robin match. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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GERMANY stretched CANADA to a penalty-shot shootout at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France. ERIC LINDROS scored what was the winning goal for Canada after Germany’s PETER DRAISAITL had his puck shot through the pads of Canadian goalie SEAN BURKE die on the goalline. And that has been as close as Germany has ever gotten to defeating Canada at the Winter Olympic Games.

Germany, under the direction of former National Hockey League defenseman and Stanley Cup champion UWE KRUPP, are drawn to play host nation Canada for the right to advance to the quarterfinal stage of the 2010 Winter Olympic ice hockey tournament in Vancouver.

History is not on the side of the Germans against the Canadians at the Olympic Games :

CANADA — versus — GERMANY — (West Germany included)

  • 1932 —    4-1 — Canada — Lake Placid
  • 1932 —    5-0 — Canada — Lake Placid
  • 1936 —    6-2 — Canada — Garmisch-Partenkirchen 
  • 1952 —  15-1 — Canada — Oslo  
  • 1956 —    4-0 — Canada — Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • 1956 —  10-0 — Canada — Cortina d’Ampezzo 
  • 1960 —  12-0 — Canada — Squaw Valley
  • 1964 —    4-2 — Canada — Innsbruck
  • 1968 —    6-1 — Canada — Grenoble 
  • 1988 —    8-1 — Canada — Calgary
  • 1992 —    4-3 — Canada — Albertville
  • 2002 —    3-2 — Canada — Salt Lake City
  • 2006 —    5-1 — Canada — Turin

Critical to the Germans’ chances in the qualification contest versus Canada will be their choice of goaltender. THOMAS GREISS of the San Jose Sharks played well against Sweden in Germany’s opening game in Vancouver but faltered badly in their last match with Belarus. Former San Jose Shark farmhand DIMITRI PAETZOLD was shaky in his only start at the Olympics opposite Finland.

(West) Germany’s greatest success against Canada to date came at the 1987 IIHF World Championships in Vienna — West Germany managed to defeat the NHL-stocked Canadian squad 5-3 in the Austrian capital that year.

So, where have you gone KARL FRIESEN?

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CANADA have apparently announced Vancouver Canucks goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO will start in the playoff match versus Germany at the 2010 Winter Games in the western Canadian city of Vancouver.

Luongo started his nation’s first match at this year’s Olympics on home soil, Canada’s 8-0 shutout of Norway.

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United States 5 – Canada 3 : Match Report

United States forwards ZACH PARISE (9) of the New Jersey Devils and PAUL STASTNY (26) of the Colorado Avalanche signal BRIAN RAFALSKI's strike just 41 seconds into the match versus host nation Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Dejected are Canada's goalie, MARTIN BRODEUR of the New Jersey Devils, and one-time New Jersey Devils defenseman SCOTT NIEDERMAYER (27), now of the Anaheim Ducks. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

United States forwards ZACH PARISE (9) of the New Jersey Devils and PAUL STASTNY (26) of the Colorado Avalanche signal BRIAN RAFALSKI's strike just 41 seconds into the match versus host nation Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Dejected are Canada's goalie, MARTIN BRODEUR of the New Jersey Devils, and one-time New Jersey Devils defenseman SCOTT NIEDERMAYER (27), now of the Anaheim Ducks. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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It had been exactly fifty years since the UNITED STATES last defeated CANADA in ice hockey at the Winter Olympic Games.

In 1960, at Squaw Valley in northern California, it was former University of Minnesota All-America JACK MCCARTAN, later a short-term New York Ranger, who made 38 saves as the United States upset Canada 2-1 in what some refer to as the first Miracle On Ice.

In 2010, at Vancouver in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, former Michigan State University All-America RYAN MILLER, now a star with the Buffalo Sabres, managed to turn aside 42 shots as the Americans were able to upend the host nation 5-3 at the Winter Olympic Games. 

The United States were nearly doubled up for the game by the forty-five shots unleashed upon their goal by Canada but, then again, never trailed in the final Group A round-robin match, thanks in large part to Miller’s efforts between the pipes.

Former New Jersey Devils defenseman BRIAN RAFALSKI bagged two goals for the U.S. against his former teammate, Canada’s goaltender extraordinaire MARTIN BRODEUR. And, current New Jersey Devils forward JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER added another for the Americans against the assured future Hall of Fame netminder playing on native soil in Vancouver, as well. For Brodeur, certainly, it was not one of the three-time Stanley Cup champion’s most convincing performances in net at any level, NHL or international.

The most crucial moment in the match arrived at 16:46 of the second period when New York Ranger CHRIS DRURY scored for the United States and snapped the 2-2 tie after a shot from Anaheim Duck BOBBY RYAN and some hard work in front by St. Louis Blue DAVID BACKES.

Canada, as had been the case the lion’s share so far, were once again left to chase the game.

A goal from Pittsburgh Penquins Stanley Cup champion SIDNEY CROSBY would bring the Canucks within one with 3:09 to play but Canada’s hopes were ultimately killed in the most ironic fashion.

The lone United States player who skates in the National Hockey League for the Vancouver Canucks, RYAN KESLER, sealed matters by scoring an empty-net goal with 45 seconds to go in the game to effectively sink Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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UNITED STATES 5 – CANADA 3

Shots-on-goal :  Canada 45 – United States 23

USA goals :  Rafalski 2, Drury, Langenbrunner, Kesler

CAN goals :  Staal, Heatley, Crosby

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For those who have not visited our sections detailing Olympic history, the most saves for a United States goaltender versus Canada in a non-losing effort at the Winter Olympics came in 1952 at the Oslo Games.

Former Dartmouth University star DICK DESMOND stopped 55 shots as the silver medalist United States earned a 3-3 draw with the Olympic champion Canada on the tournament’s final day. The United States were outshot on that day in Norway by a whopping 58-13 margin.

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Canada superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) is clobbered at the boards on home ice by United States defenseman RYAN SUTER (20) at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. (AP photo)

Canada superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) is clobbered at the boards on home ice by United States defenseman RYAN SUTER (20) at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. (AP photo)

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Teammates on the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins notwithstanding, Canada superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) is punished along the boards by United States defenseman BROOKS ORPIK at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (AP photo)

Teammates on the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penquins notwithstanding, Canada superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) is punished along the boards by United States defenseman BROOKS ORPIK at the 2010 Vancouver Games. (AP photo)

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to be continued…

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Canada 3 – Switzerland 2 : Match Report

San Jose Shark star DANY HEATLEY (15) signals his opening goal for Canada against Switzerland at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

San Jose Shark star DANY HEATLEY (15) signals his opening goal for Canada against Switzerland at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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Pittsburgh Penquins’ Stanley Cup champion SIDNEY CROSBY made the most of his second chance in the penalty-shot shootout to enable CANADA to avoid a second-straight disaster opposite a stubborn SWITZERLAND squad at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Switzerland, of course, engineered a spectacular 2-0 upset of the Canucks at the Turin Games four years ago.

However, after San Jose Shark PATRICK MARLEAU scored just 35 seconds into the second period to give Canada a 2-0 lead, it certainly seemed as if the host nation was well on its way this time out.

Switzerland, who took the game’s first five penalties and seven of eight whistled by the referees for the match, were not prepared to give in without a fight, however.

At the nine-minute mark of the second stanza, veteran IVO RUTHEMANN of SC Bern scored to give Switzerland life and cut Canada’s lead in half. The youngest member of Canada, Los Angeles Kings defenseman DREW DOUGHTY, made a costly decision at the Swiss blueline which presented Ruthemann the opportunity. Doughty was rewarded by Canada coach MIKE BABCOCK with a seat on the bench for the remainder of the match.

The Swiss immediately capitalized on momentum and continued to capture the better of play for the rest of the second period; Switzerland were fortunate when defenseman PATRICK VON GUNTEN of EHC Kloten had his shot from the left point deflect off Marleau’s skate past New Jersey Devil MARTIN BRODEUR into Canada’s goal to square matters at two with just ten seconds left until intermission.

The Canadians clearly attempted to assert themselves in the final frame. Canada launched 18 shots in comparison to just three for the Swiss. Anaheim Ducks goaltender JONAS HILLER was huge for Switzerland, however, and produced a key save from fellow Duck RYAN GETZLAFF to help see the game into overtime.

The four-time Olympian Brodeur built a wall for Canada in the shootout, which extended into sudden-death after a scoreless first three rounds.

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 CANADA 3 – SWITZERLAND 2 — (aet, shootout)

Shots-on-goal :  Canada 46 – Switzerland 23

CAN goals :  Heatley, Marleau

SWITZ goals :  Ruthemann, von Gunten

Shootout :

CAN — Crosby (1/2), Toews (0/1), Getzlaff (0/1)

SWITZ — Domenichelli (0/1), Lemm (0/1), Wick (0/1), Pluss (0/1)

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Crosby’s second penalty-shot attempt beats Hiller to give Canada the 3-2 shootout victory over Canada. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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Native Canadian and former Calgary Flame HNAT DOMENICHELLI (17) attempts a shot for Switzerland as New Jersey Devil defenseman SCOTT NIEDERMAYER (27) stretches to prevent such. Domenichelli, on his debut for die Schweiz at the Vancouver Olympic Games, was stopped by Brodeur on Switerland’s first attempt in the shootout. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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Another view of Crosby’s winner in the shootout. (Shaun Best/Reuters)

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Eighteen years after # 88 Lindros beat Germany in Canada’s first penalty-shot shootout at the Olympics in Albertville, # 87 Crosby takes care of Switzerland in Vancouver. (Shaun Best/Reuters)

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Canada 8 – Norway 0 : Match Report

German-born DANY HEATLEY, a one-time star for the University of Wisconsin, scored two goals in Canada's 8-0 rout of Norway at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Here, Heatley is hamped by Norway's MADS HANSEN (8) as San Jose Shark JOE THORNTON (19) supervises for Canada. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

German-born DANY HEATLEY, a one-time star for the University of Wisconsin, scored two goals in Canada's 8-0 rout of Norway at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Here, Heatley is hamped by Norway's MADS HANSEN (8) as San Jose Shark JOE THORNTON (19) supervises for Canada. (Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images)

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Calgary Flames veteran JAROME IGINLA ignited Canada with a hat trick for the host nation on opening day of the ice hockey tournament at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Iginla scored a pair of goals in the 2002 Gold Medal Match for the champion Canadian squad at Salt Lake City; Canada are looking to erase painful memories of a 2-0 defeat to Russia at the quarterfinal stage in Turin four years ago.

San Jose Shark DANY HEATLEY scored twice and Pittsburgh Penquins superstar SIDNEY CROSBY collected three assists on the day as Canada cruised to an 8-0 victory over Norway.

Canada’s deputy goaltender, ROBERTO LUONGO of the host city Vancouver Canucks, pitched the shutout in turning aside all fifteen Norwegian shots-on-goal.

Anaheim Ducks attackers RYAN GETZLAFF and COREY PERRY as well as Philadelphia Flyers forward MIKE RICHARDS also added goals in what turned out to be little more than a training game for Canada, who set a match tone immediately by outshooting Norway 14-4 in the scoreless first period.

For the hapless Norwegians, who offered little meaningful resistance, this was their heaviest loss to Canada in nine matches since the 10-0 blowout at the Albertville Games in 1992.

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CANADA 8 – NORWAY 0

shots-on-goal :  Canada 42 – Norway 15

CAN goals : Iginla 3, Heatley 2, Richards, Getzlaff, Perry

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NORWAY’s former National Hockey Leaguer, PATRICK THORESEN (41), takes an elbow to the face compliments Canada defenseman BRENT SEABROOK (7) of the Chicago Black Hawks. Canadian hat trick hero JAROME IGINLA (12) inspects the damage. (Matt McLeod photo)

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Norway’s Thoresen of Russian club Salavat Yulayev Ufa gives a friendly pat on the back to Canadian goaltender ROBERTO LUONGO (1) of the Olympic host city Vancouver Canucks on the opening day of play at the 2010 Winter Games in Canada. Included in the picture are a pair of # 22 players, Canada’s DAN BOYLE of the San Jose Sharks and Norway’s MARTIN ROYMARK of Swedish Elitserien club HC Vastra Frolunda Goteborg.

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32-year-old Norway goaltender PAL GROTNES of domestic club IF Stjernen Fredrikstad was pulled at the 4:29 mark of the third period after allowing four goals on 32 shots from Canada. His replacement, 21-year-old ANDRE LYSENSTOEN of Finnish second division outfit HeKi Heinola, allowed four goals on ten Canadian shots the rest of the way.

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Canada – Final Olympic Roster

Pittsburgh Penquins superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) must certainly be aware --- the host nation CANADA expects!

Pittsburgh Penquins superstar SIDNEY CROSBY (87) must certainly be aware --- the host nation CANADA expects!

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CANADA — final roster for 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Coach — Mike BABCOCK —— Asst — K. Hitchcock, L. Ruff, J. Lemaire

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Goaltenders

  • #   1 — Roberto LUONGO — VANCOUVER
  • # 29 — Marc-Andre FLEURY — PITTSBURGH
  • # 30 — Martin BRODEUR — NEW JERSEY

Defensemen

  • #   2 — Duncan KEITH — CHICAGO
  • #   6 — Shea WEBER — NASHVILLE
  • #   7 — Brent SEABROOK — CHICAGO
  • #   8 — Drew DOUGHTY — LOS ANGELES
  • # 20 — Chris PRONGER — PHILADELPHIA
  • # 22 — Dan BOYLE — SAN JOSE
  • # 27 — Scott NIEDERMAYER — NEW JERSEY

Forwards

  • # 10 — Brenden MORROW — DALLAS
  • # 11 — Patrick MARLEAU — SAN JOSE
  • # 12 — Jarome IGINLA — CALGARY
  • # 15 — Dany HEATLEY — SAN JOSE
  • # 16 — Jonathan TOEWS — CHICAGO
  • # 18 — Mike RICHARDS — PHILADELPHIA
  • # 19 — Joe THORNTON — SAN JOSE
  • # 21 — Eric STAAL — CAROLINA
  • # 24 — Corey PERRY — ANAHEIM
  • # 37 — Patrice BERGERON — BOSTON
  • # 51 — Ryan GETZLAFF — ANAHEIM
  • # 61 — Rick NASH — COLUMBUS
  • # 87 — Sidney CROSBY — PITTSBURGH

=========================================================

Anaheim Ducks forward RYAN GETZLAFF had a scary moment for a minute there, but, in the end, coach MIKE BABCOCK and Canada make no changes to the Olympic team originally announced before the New Year.

The Canadians, of course, are desperate to claim the ice hockey championship on home ice in Vancouver and exorcise any lingering ghosts of the Calgary Games from Winter Olympics past in the process.

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