Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal 7:40 into overtime to lead Canada to a 3-2 win over the United States in the gold medal men’s hockey game at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
Crosby, who had not had a point in nine periods heading into overtime was able to latch on to a Jarome Iginla pass and shoot it past American goaltender Ryan Miller to send Canada Hockey Place into bedlam.
“I can’t even remember what happened, I know I just shot the puck from somewhere around here and it went in,” Crosby told CTV after the game
Remarkably, the game would not have reached that stage if not for a Crosby breakaway miss a few minutes earlier that allowed the United States Zach Parise to jump on a rebound from a Patrick Kane shot and slot it past Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo to tie the game at two with 24 seconds remaining in the game.
Revenge was on the minds of both Canadian players and fans after the Americans had beat Canada 5-3 in round robin play and the game began with excitement running through the air.
Rick Nash took a pass from captain Scott Niedermayer for the game’s first real chance but broke his stick and was unable to get a shot on Miller
The United States nearly broke the scoring deadlock but Canadian defenceman Duncan Keith made a great play with his stick to keep the puck from crossing the line before the whistle was blown after Luongo had come up with the original save.
Jonathan Toews opened up the scoring at 12:50 of the first period after Mike Richards stole the puck from the United States Brian Rafalski in front of the U.S net, allowing Toews to capitalize on the rebound from Richards original shot and beat Miller on the glove side.
Toews goal marked the first time that the United States trailed during the tournament.
Tension and anger began to build as a late hit on Canada’s Ryan Getzlaf after the first period had come to a close caused a skirmish between the players on the ice.
“All tournament I have been waiting for a chance like that. The game is really physical, both ways,” Toews told CTV during the first intermission.
U.S forward Ryan Kesler turned the puck over early in the second period forcing Miller to stop Iginla’s slap shot in close to start the second.
Ryan Malone’s high sticking call sent Canada to it’s second power play of the game at the 2:33 mark of the second. Shea Weber was the focus of the United States penalty killers as they would not allow Weber the opportunity to get his blistering slap shot off from the point and Canada was unable to take advantage of the power play.
Eric Staal was called for interference at 4:41 of the second to send the United States to it‘s first power play. They also were unable to take advantage of the opportunity due to a persistent Nash scrambling to get the puck out on more than one occasion.
His persistence paid off as soon after fellow Canadian Corey Perry found himself with the puck in the slot in the U.S zone after Patrick Marleau was unable to handle a Getzlaf pass and he quickly fired the puck over Miller’s glove to put Canada up 2-0 at the 7:13 mark of the second.
Down by two goals, the Americans began to pressure the Canadians intensely and were rewarded.
Kesler tipped a Kane shot past fellow Vancouver Canuck team-mate Luongo to cut the Canadian lead to 2-1 at the 12:44 mark of the second.
American Ryan Suter nearly tied the game for the U.S but his backhand from in close went just wide.
Staal broke in on a breakaway with under a minute to go in the second but shot the puck over the net for the final chance of the period.
“They are going to fade as the game goes on, Slovakia was able to make the game 3-2 and Luongo is fighting the puck out there, we are going to tie the game,” proclaimed a brash Kesler to CTV during the second intermission.
Weber and Chris Pronger were unfortunate not to add to the Canadian lead as each hit the goal post in the first two minutes of the third period.
After the opening surge in the period both teams were content on not allowing each other any space or opportunity until Miller was called into action at the midway point of the period turning away Canada’s Dany Heatley twice in the matter of seconds.
Rafalski who scored twice against Canada in the round robin game came close to tying the game with five minutes to go but was unable to beat Luongo after he was able to latch on to the puck from a scrum and shot the puck.
Miller stopped 36 of 39 shots for the United States while Luongo stopped 34 of 36 shots for Canada.
Neither team scored on the power play going a combined 0-for-4
With the gold medal win, Canada set the record for most gold medals ever won at an Olympic Games with 14.