FINAL SCORE: CANADA 4 - 3 USA SO
Porter/Gaustad (A) /Brown
Johnson (A) /Shatty
Stuart (C) /Fayne
Skinner/Taveres or Vermette/Stewart
USA GOAL 1: Komisarek, Equal Strength, 24:13 (15:47 remaining in the 2nd)
Conklin passed to Smith, who got the puck out on the left by the boards near the faceoff dot on Canada's side of the ice. He patiently waited for Komisarek to get open, then passed it across the ice to the right point. Komisarek shot it, it curved like a rainbow, and it made its way past the screened Reimer. USA gets on the board fisrt. USA 1 – 0 Canada
USA GOAL 2: Johnson, Equal Strength, 33:47 (6:13 remaining in the 2nd)
FSoS got a steal just inside the blueline on the USA penalty kill and knocked it over to Wheeler a few feet away. Wheeler made a nice pass to Johnson as he was coming out of the box. He drove to the net and ended it with a 5-hole shot that beat Reimer. USA 2 – 1 Canada.
USA GOAL 3: Stepan, Power Play, 50:43 (9:17 remaining in the 3rd)
This was a pretty little give and go play by Wheeler and Stepan. Stephan got it to Wheeler on the left side of the net, but when he skated past the goal, he got it back to Stepan standing midway between the left faceoff dot and the net. Stephan fires off a shot and it just barely trickles past Reimer stick-side top. Tied game 3 – 3.
CANADA GOAL 1: Burns, Equal Strength (barely. The penalty had JUST ended that second), 27:20 (12:40 remaining in the 2nd)
Conklin turns the puck over behind the net (BAD GOALIE!), and it finds its way to Pietrangelo’s stick on the right side. He passes it to Burns on the left side in front of the net, who shoots it as he’s falling. It goes over the top of Conklin (who was sprawled on the ice at this point), and its 1-1.
CANADA GOAL 2: Taveres, Equal Strength (again, just barely by 4 seconds), 43:27 (16:33 remaining in the 3rd)
After coming off a solid powerplay – Taveres had 3 or 4 shots - Gragnani got the puck near the left dot and passed to Stewart at the net on the left side. Stewy turned and tapped the puck over to Taveres on the right side. He shoots, but Conklin got a piece of it. The puck ended up near the post behind Conklin and Taveres found it. Tied up again 2 - 2.
CANADA GOAL 3: Spezza, Shorthanded 3 on 4, 45:22 (14:38 remaining in the 3rd)
It all started when Shatty hooked Dutch. Two Canadians were already in the box, so this made it a 4 to 3 chance for the USA. But it was not to be. FSoS wasn’t able to clear the zone (BAD STASTNY!), and the puck ended up on Burns’ stick on the right side point. He passed it across to Spezza on the left-side point, who fired a rocket up into the top shelf (where momma keeps the peanut butter). Canada takes its first lead 3 to 2.
USA Attempt 1: Johnson – fail. 5 hole quick release that Reimer read well.
Canada Attempt 1: Eberle – not fail. It started with a super jinx by the announcers talking about how great he was in shootouts back in ’04. Thanks guys. Eberle easily beats him and backhands one on the left side.
USA Attempt 2: Wheeler – fail. He tried to go top on gloveside, but Reimer shrugged just in time and caught it.
CANADA Attempt 2: Nash – not fail. Conklin went down just a fraction of a second early, and Nash put it upstairs gloveside. Game over.
Montoya out – Conklin in. It’s hardly surprising after the crappy game Montoya had against Sweden. Also surprising – the fact that the no-name Americans were able to get star-laden Canada to a shootout. Canada had a ton more talent and played better today (they outshot the US 52 to 20), but the USA had more heart. Conklin was the main reason they got to OT, but the young US team somehow managed to find the back of the net more times than they should have. Unfortunately, they weren't able to come away with the win.
The game started out physical. Less than a minute in, Shatty got slammed into the boards in the corner by Methot. He was ok even though he laid on the ice for a few moments afterwards. After play resumed, Komisarek made a big hit out by center ice, but was called for roughing because he left his feet on the hit. But other than that, the first was somewhat uneventful. Canada got a few good chances – for example, at one point Eberle was standing in front of an empty net, but he couldn’t get enough control over the puck to put it in. We ended with 4 USA SOG to 14 Canadian ones, but the scoring chances were closer to equal.
The second saw the first goal of the game via Komisarek, but Burns answered 3 minutes later. 3 minutes after that, Johnson shoved a guy with his stick and got a penalty for it. He disagreed with the call, but it ended well. It meant he was in the correct position to get a breakaway goal to put the US back on top.
Canada would wait until the 3rd to tie it up, then they netted 2 goals in 2 minutes, including a shorthanded 3 on 4 one. But luckily for the USA, Clutterbuck slashed Palmieri and Stepan (with a little help from his friend, Wheeler) was able to tie it up and guarantee the Americans at least one much-needed point.
They got to OT... and nothing happened. Sure, there were some good shots that were really exciting, and there was quite a bit more time spent in front of Conklin than Reimer, but this game went to a shootout and Conklin got owned.
So Congrats to Canada. If there’s one team that I’m even somewhat OK with beating the USA, it's our northern neighbors and the inventors of the game. But seriously guys - I’m sick of seeing the Stars and Stripes lose in OT. Knock it off.
NOTES (on Matt Duchene):
“After a disappointing season like they (the Avs) had, you (players like Matt Duchene) really look forward to get overseas and play for Team Canada and actually win something.” – Announcer.
Thanks dude. We know we sucked. You don't need to keep reminding us, or reminding the world for that matter.
Anyway.... I REALLY suck at cheering against Dutch. Every time I see him on the ice, my love momentarily shifts to Canada. I can’t help it. I feel dirty afterwards. But that’s the way it is. Anyone else have this problem?
Speaking of Dutch - how in the hell does he STILL not have any points? He’s been playing very well – he just can’t seem to bet anything past the goalies. It’s not for lack of trying. He might have had only 3 SOG in this game, but he smacked the puck in the direction of the net closer to 7 or 8 times and caused at least 2 off-topic background tangents by the announces because he was making his presence known. He also made some amazing passes that lead to very strong chances, but again, they just won’t go in. He’s making good defensive plays - one probably prevented a goal - and looks amazing when handling the puck. At one point in the first, he skated coast to coast around a whole buncha guys, making the poor US defense look like idiots. He just continues to get better at stickhandling – in a few years, he could be scary good if once you add in his speed. He had some turnovers today, but he had just as many steals. His chemistry with Nash is there, but they just can’t seem to finish. I just wish he would score a hattie and get this whole without a point thing over and done with….. although I’m pretty happy he waited until AFTER playing the US to do it. He really does deserve to have some points next to his name though. He’s playing very well even though it’s not reflected on the stats sheets.