Canada sought to “own the podium” in these Vancouver Olympics. They’ll be lucky if they even own the rink. Last night, in one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire Games, the United States men’s hockey team beat Canada on their own ice, 5-3. The Americans wore throwback uniforms commemorating the 1960 national team, the last squad that had beaten the Canadians before Sunday. But it wasn’t in HD!
“We know we can beat anybody now,” U.S. defenseman Brian Rafalski said after scoring two goals against the hosts and gold-medal favorites. “It’s a huge step for (our) confidence.” –Bloomberg.
It’s a big win for American hockey, but is it an upset? The Americans took as many NHL stars to Vancouver as the Canucks did. And despite that league’s struggles in terms of TV ratings, participation in the sport is as strong as ever–more than double what it was 20 years ago. And anyone watching would have found the play of Martin Brodeur to be rather suspect, allowing the first goal just 41 seconds into the game. The US now receive a bye to the quarterfinals of the medal round after sweeping in pool play. They should be considered the favorites, if you hadn’t thought of them as such beforehand.