On the 26th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, team USA lost to Finland 4-3 and was eliminated from play in the Olympic tournament. It was, though, very nearly another miracle. Finland was heavily favored to win, and despite having a two-goal lead twice, they had to fight off a furious rally by USA and narrowly got out of there with the win.
One thing I want to point out before I move on to the good stuff is that Derian Hatcher hurt team USA. I don't mean with the double-minor high stick. Actually, I think we got hosed on that call. On the third goal by the Finns, Hatcher had lost one of his gloves behind the American net. As the Finns worked the puck in front of the net, Hatcher retreated to get his glove, taking himself out of the play. The Finns were already on the power play, so this gave them a de facto five-on-three. Before he could get back, Jokinen found the net. Later, still in the second frame, Finland would cash in on a five-on-three to get what proved to be the game winner.
The Americans would battle through discipline problems to make it 4-3, and had lots of good chances in the final minute, but they couldn't tie it.
One thing that I liked, both as a team USA fan and a Carolina Hurricanes fan is that Erik Cole was a beast out there. He assisted on one of the goals, made some really great passes, created scoring chances. He was also really aggressive with his checking. He played a very inspired game. Also, down the stretch, as we frantically tried to tie the game, Doug Weight won every face off. Throughout the game, he was also up to his usual stuff, putting his team in a good position to score. He also picked up one assist.
The consolation for team USA is that it scored more goals against Finland than their previous five opponents COMBINED. They also became the first team to score a power play goal against Finland. Small consolation, I know.
Practices resume today for NHL teams, and the Hurricanes will be back in action a week from today in Boston.
4 years ago