With all due respect due other men who have minded the net such as JACK MCCARTAN and JIM CRAIG of the United States, not to mention VLADISLAV TRETIAK of the old Soviet Union, there is no question the greatest goaltending performance in the history of ice hockey at the Winter Olympic Games was offered up in Japan by the netminder known as “The Dominator”.
As one might expect from a champion of champions, DOMINIK HASEK really stepped up his game once the tournament reached the knock-out stages. In the quarterfinal versus the United States, the Czech Republic fell behind 1-0 in the first period and would end up being outshot by the wide margin of 39-19 for the game. It was Hasek, however, who slammed the door shut with twenty-nine saves over the final two periods allowing his teammates the opportunity to rally for four goals and advancement.
As for the Canadian team laden with National Hockey League stars including the legendary WAYNE GRETZKY, the Canucks only managed to put a puck past Hasek with their goaltender on the bench and sixty-three ticks on the clock. The Canadians did outshoot the Czechs 5-1 in the sudden-death overtime period.
To close out the tournament in proper fashion, facing a squad with such world class players as PAVEL BURE and SERGEI FEDOROV on board, it was, in retrospect, a foregone conclusion that Hasek would successfully deal with all 20 Russian shots on goal to post a shutout and make a single goal for the Czech Republic stand up in the Gold Medal Match.