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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ivan Hlinka Day 6: Canada defeats USA 1-0 to capture gold

Team Canada needed just one goal to secure the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament championship Saturday in Piestany, Slovakia.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Red Deer Rebels scoring star, continued his outstanding scoring run by putting a shot past Stephen Michalek less than two minutes into the game, and it stood up as the winner in a 1-0 victory to give Canada a perfect 5-0 record in the tourney and a 15th gold medal since this competition began in 1991.

Canada goalie Tyson Teichmann made 22 saves for the shutout, while Michalek made 23 stops, allowing only Nugent-Hopkins' wrister (unassisted) from the right circle as he gained the zone with speed and let it rip.

Congratulations to Canada-- they always ice one tough team and although USA had a tremendous tourney despite not having the talent, the Cinderella run ended today and the best team won. USA coach Tim Army did a masterful job with this group and the Americans have nothing to be ashamed about. It's a shame that the winning goal happened at 1:42 and there was nothing else to follow, but that just speaks to how well both teams played.

USA went 3-2 to capture silver, losing a shootout game to Russia during round robin play, but beating Sweden in OT yesterday to advance to the final. Canada gets a third consecutive gold at the Hlinka. And, leaving Ryan Murphy at home did not come back to bite them...imagine what would have been said if the Americans had pulled off an upset?

Sweden blasted Czech Republic by a 6-1 score to secure the bronze medal for the tournament.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I probably feared team USA more than anyone did. Why ? Because they played with heart. And because they played for the pride of pulling that Jersey over their heads. Since 1972 that edge was always given to Canada hands down.

    Over the last several years, Team USA has pulled even with Canada in that department and in some cases, pulled ahead. History has shown that the most talented team doesn't always win and that the team that plays with heart and pride can always pull off the "upset".

    Personally, i dont think enough credit is given to that intangible. I for one, would not have been the least bit surprised at a Team USA victory, and as a Canadian fan, was somewaht worried about the game.

    Team USA can hold their heads up high and be proud of what they accomplished. A 1-0 defeat in the gold medal game was closer than most people expected.

    One thing is for certain (as Kirk said earlier) the Amercians have certainly replaced Russia (Soviet Union) as Canada's premier rival in internatioanl hockey. And i'll take it one step further. They are Canada's Premier opponent as well.

    Why? Because they play with heart and with pride. Something that has been accredited to Canada's success since that Summit Series.

    Congrats to Team Canada and a special congrats to our American Friends. You should be proud of what you accomplished !!