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Canada shuts down high-flying U.S. offense, will play for gold

Feb 21, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

CareyPriceParise Getty Images

The U.S. was averaging five goals per game heading into the Olympic semifinals.

Against Canada, it couldn’t muster one.

That was the story at the Bolshoy Ice Dome on Friday as Carey Price stopped all 31 shots faced and Canada continued its stifling defense in a 1-0 win over the Americans, securing a berth in the gold medal game for the second consecutive Olympics.

“Our back-checking was excellent tonight, and our forecheck was good,” Price told CBC’s Elliotte Friedman following the game. “We tried to stay on the right side of the puck the whole night, and the effort was there.”

VIDEO: Highlights from Canada’s 1-0 win

Jamie Benn scored the game’s lone marker — his second of the tournament — early in the second period, deflecting home a Jay Bouwmeester slap-pass. The game-winner was one of the biggest of Benn’s career and made for a great story, as Benn is the lone player on the Canadian team that didn’t get invited to Hockey Canada’s Olympic orientation camp.

For the Americans, getting shut out was a disappointment given their scoring exploits thus far.

After blowing opponents away with a relentless offensive attack, the U.S. was stymied by Price and a determined group of Canadian skaters that have now allowed just three goals over the course of this tournament. The Phil KesselJoe PavelskiJames van Riemsdyk line, which combined for 18 points over the first four U.S. games, was held in check and the rest of the forwards struggled to pick up the slack — the “Meat Line” of Dustin Brown, David Backes and Ryan Callahan, so successful in a quarterfinal win over the Czechs, failed to put a single shot on the Canadian goal.

VIDEO: Watch Jamie Benn’s goal

The U.S. also failed to convert on all three of its power play chances — despite coming in with the third-ranked PP (27. 3 percent) — though much of that had to do with Canada’s dogged determination on the penalty kill.

As the final score suggests, both goalies were great. Price was clutch in a 31-save shutout but Quick was just as good, if not better, in stopping 36 of 37 shots, including all 16 in a wild opening period that saw the teams trade chances throughout.

Looking ahead, Canada will now take on Sweden in the gold medal game, marking the first time a North American country will face a European one for gold since NHLers began Olympic participation in 1998.

The U.S. will take on Finland for bronze, looking to medal for the second straight Games and third in the last four.

  1. cambannedloinstache - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Really appreciating the fact that I can breathe now

    • buckeye044 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Really? Game never seemed in doubt once the goal was scored.

      So much for big ice opening up the game.

      • therealjr - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        The game was just as tight in Vancouver. With elite talent on these top teams, and dedication to defense, you aren’t going to get a lot of goals.

  2. moarjam - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Congrats Canada. As much as it pains me to say, they definitely deserved this one.

    Lets take home the bronze tomorrow!

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Everyone who watches a lot of hockey knows this was the real Gold Medal game. It may not have been high scoring but do not confuse a low scoring game with a boring game. By far the best game I have watched in these Olympics so far!!

    Congrats to our Canadian men on silencing their critics, many of which are in Canada. Congrats to the US on a hard fought battle. Hopefully this cements the States as Canada’s true rival as Russia has really fallen behind the pack. Ultimately, I think Canada’s d-core was simply too much for the US to battle through.

    • redwings1977 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      This was the real gold medal game? So Sweden has no chance tomorrow? We’ll see.

      • redwings1977 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Sorry, Sunday, not tomorrow. Why isn’t there an “edit” button? Weak.

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        redwing1977 you must think Sweden has a chance because they have a few lame redwings on their team.

        Still probably have a better chance of gold, than Detroit does of making the playoffs.

      • redwings1977 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Well yes, I’m pulling for Sweden because they have a lot of Wings, is that crazy? It’s not as fun as rooting for Canada because of Babcock.

        Oooooh, way to burn me on the Wings possibly missing the playoffs. Just let me know when your team makes it 22 straight years. I’ll be waiting.

      • pavelfitzgerald - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        I meant no disrespect to Sweden, or in this case, your Detroit Red Wings. What I meant was that this was what Olympic (NHL Players) Hockey was all about. A fantastic hockey game – & I would say that even if my Canadian Hockey team lost.

        The American’s should be proud of that game, both watching & playing. Sweden is a formidable opponent but I would bet my yearly salary that they would beat Sweden by more then a goal. This was an incredible hockey game played my two incredible hockey teams, played the right way & not with 5 players guarding the blue line

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Sports is all about now, not what you did 5, 10 or 20 years ago.

        No one cares. Its about this year, always.

      • redwings1977 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Okay elrock, then let’s let this season play out, shall we? Playoffs or not, the Wings organization is about as good as it gets in professional sports.

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        @redwings elrock is a leafs fan, he wouldn’t know a solid organization if it hit him in the head

    • redwings1977 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      You’re right, it was a hell of a game. And I’ll take Sweden +1.5 for your salary. I think they may surprise the Canadians, or at least I hope so. Either way it should be a great match-up. I just hope Babcock tells his guys to take it easy on the Wings in the Swedish sweaters, we can’t afford any more injuries.

      • dueman - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        I hope that you are not silly enough to actually bet someone your salary at even odds let alone +1.5 because that would just be dumb. I’m not saying that Sweden doesn’t have a chance, because they do, but they definitely don’t have “I’ll take Sweden +1.5 for your salary” kind of chance…just saying. It’s all good that you’re a Wings fan, but you should try not to be a dumb Wings fan.

      • redwings1977 - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Dueman, I appreciate your concern but please don’t advise me on what imaginary internet bets I should or shouldn’t take. I’d love to put some money on the game, but I don’t think I’d bet a years salary on anything. Make it Sweden +2.5 and I’m in.

  4. elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    For a 1-0 game, I never got the feeling that the outcome was in doubt.

    • 19to77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      It’s weird. On the one hand, the Americans had multiple heart-stopping chances throughout the game. There was one stretch on the power play I don’t think I could breathe for thirty seconds or so. But with that said, I can’t help but think this easily could have been 3-0 or 4-0 Canada.

      • paperlions - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Yeah, it also could have easily been 3-0 or 4-0 US. Both teams had a lot of scrums for loose pucks in front of the net in which anything could have happened….like the puck that went through Price’s legs cleanly and went wide of the post…if that barely catches pad, leg or skate, it’s in the net.

    • therealjr - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      Then you were deluding yourself, because in a 1-goal game the outcome is always in doubt.

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        Not when most of the play was in American zone, and the Canadians always seemed to have the puck.

  5. patthehockeyfan - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Two comments:
    1) Sh!t
    2) Congratulations to Canada

  6. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Just waiting for someone on here saying that Canada cheated and the US should have won.

    It was a great game and the best team came out on top. That was War on ice.

    So glad to be Canadian right now!!!!

    GO CANADA GO!!!!!!

    • savoirlaire - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Um, I believe that someone is you…nice of you to stick that turd in the punch bowl. Get some class…

  7. bucrightoff - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Canada’s entire defensive commitment, from the D men to the forwards to Carey Price, has been at an entirely different planet this tournament. No second chances, mostly perimeter based offense, active, aggressive forechecking. And again today a wonderful pass from Bouwmeester to set up the offense. I’m not sure Canada will beat Sweden, I just know Sweden won’t be scoring more than 2 goals.

  8. sukmydeke88 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Everyone knows hockey is Canada’s game..: )

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      it might be the game Canada’s best at, but it’s a world game.

    • dtownbeatdown - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Actually the British and the French started hockey in Canada. And everyone knows America is what brought it to popular culture. First professional game ever held was in Michigans Upper Pennisula (Portage Lake Professional ice hockey team), and well we all know the NHL which is headquartered in New York, New York.

      Canadians will always have better hockey players, no doubting the culture, it is a tundra there year round in a lot of places.

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        No guarantee that Canada will always be better. there are more youth hockey players in the USA than ever before and the numbers keep rising. It’s only a matter of time until the USA starts to win some of these battles.

  9. alliceishome - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Canada for the gold!

    US for the bronze! It’s only too bad we had to play now, you deserve silver for that game!

  10. smarshall3789 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Ouch this hurts just like yesterday! I’m so sick of losing to these clowns!!! I knew they didn’t have enough offense for big time games. Bobby Ryan maybe would of helped?!?! I think so

    • stepanup - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      I don’t. Canada’s D would have swallowed him up just like they stifled every US skater who is faster than Ryan.

  11. purpleguy - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Congrats to Canada — we’re getting there, but you still rule.

  12. 19to77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Welcome to Canada: land of maple syrup, funny accents and the cold, dead remains of America’s dreams.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Sorry, eh, but we’re still a little pissed off about that 1812 invasion when we had to kick your butts the first time. And don’t forget our good beer and Aero chocolate bars.

      • dtownbeatdown - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        You have hockey, beer and the band Rush. I am jealous of your hockey, but your beer is kind of going by the wayside. And Rush is terrible.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Hey Beat, I didn’t bring them up, you did. I’ll add Neil Young, Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot. And Christopher Plummer, Pa Cartwright, Capt. Kirk and Alex Trebek.

  13. schneider99 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    It was a hard fought game, and the only thing that would have gotten past either goalie was a redirection like Benn’s. Congrats to Canada, we’ll see you in four years…now let’s win the bronze!

    • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      beer will always be great, plus Neil Young will never fade away!

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        Wine snobs and disco ducks thumbed you down.

  14. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Where’s Kaptainamerica to call Canadian fans arrogant?

    Glad we won, hope the forwards can get going Sunday, if Crosby has a big game I promise not to hate on him for at least two weeks!

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Thats what I’m waiting for as well…where are they????

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Lols, I said Canadians are rude and smug towards Americans in general.which is true. I don’t have to write it to be the comments on this post, lots of Canadians are exposing themselves as haters. all the thumbs up etc…On the rude and smug comments people make here, like yours.

      in case you didn’t know I am a Canadian, and am well aware of the attitude of people in Toronto, since I live there, towards Americans. leafs fans are the biggest haters and I come across them quite often.

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        kaptaan you are the biggest moron I have ever read on this site.

        Also, there is no chance in hell that you are Canadian. With your attitude someone would beat you senseless if you lived in Toronto…Idiot

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Not surprised you feel that way since I
        1. Like the USA
        2. Like Americans
        3. Point out the smugness of Canadians towards the USA and Americans

    • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Oh that kaptaan guy, the guy who said this game was going to get ugly for Canada, a real beatdown.

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        No, that kaptaan guy who said this could get ugly IF Babcock kept giving undeserved ice time to Crosby’s line.

  15. deezenucks - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    All is right in the hockey world.
    The Americans can fill net net against the lesser teams but had nothing in this one.

    • dtownbeatdown - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Good thing we lost we wouldn’t want to see a repeat of what happened in Vancouver after the cup loss. Yea I went there.

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Who cares. Most Canadians don’t live in Vancouver, too many tree-hugging lefties

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        Vancouver was just showing a little of its inner Montreal back then.

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        Elrock, you are typical of the kind of people in Toronto and leafs fans in general…

  16. montrealbbr - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    US didn’t have a chance in this game. The depth of the defence was too much to handle.

  17. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    And good luck to the USA tomorrow, I know it’s not the colour you wanted but it would be nice to keep 2/3 of the medals in North America!

    • anthonyverna - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Stupid Mexico.

  18. 19to77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    I can’t help but feel like the 2010 U.S. team actually pushed Canada substantially harder. This was thrilling and fantastic and some of the best hockey I’ve ever watched and there were some admittedly great chances from the States that had me holding my breath at times, but, it felt like Canada controlled the tempo for most of the game.

  19. joey4id - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Well! Well! Well! What an awesome display of d play by TC. Price made the easy stops and TC completely neutralized team USA’s O by cordoning out the middle of the ice in the d zone. Shades of Red Wings hockey played under a great coach. Puck management and positional play was put on display. Awesome.

  20. iammrbinky - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Canada definitely deserved the win. The US struggled getting good scoring chances and the few they got, Price stopped them. The US is close but just cant quite get over the hump.

    Let’s get the bronze boys.

    • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      the US will always be close.

  21. stateofthesport - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Feb 21, 2014, 2:20 PM EST

    The better team won. It looked Canada was on a power play for most of the game. Quickie did his part.

    Feb 21, 2014, 2:22 PM EST
    I am so proud of our team’s, both country’s played awesome, women’s and men’s, it’s a proud day for Canadian’s, win both important game’s, and come out second in medal’s today so far,, everyone said we were going to lose but it wasn’t in the card’s today,,we rocked the ice,, nice try to the American team, it was a nail biter but in the end of the day the better team won

  22. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Without Crosby scoring, there is no way Canada will have any chance of winning a medal in this tourney. Oh, wait.

    • 19to77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      Apparently we can medal while barely scoring at all. Hey, far be it from me to criticize. It worked for the ’98 Czechs, right?

      • therealjr - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        It doesn’t take much with that stud blue line.

    • theageofquarrel - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      That’s because Crosby sucks

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Quarrel, bang on dude! That’s why he’ll NEVER win a Stanley Cup, Gold medal, or scoring title. What? Really? Oh.

      • theageofquarrel - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        It’s ok Nothanks, I’m a Penguins fans through and through.But I am getting a jump start on the Crosby bashing,it seems to be the thing to do as soon as he’s mentioned. Did you know he is the Peyton Manning of the NHL?

      • patthehockeyfan - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        Actually, quarrel, I compare Crosby to Tom Brady.

        Both absolutely great at their game, both vilified with pretty much the same remarks.

      • sukmydeke88 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        You guys know nothing. Crosby has a cup. go back to baseball.

      • theageofquarrel - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        Wow!!! We’re glad you are so good at reading and your understanding of sarcasm!!!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        I remember hearing LA Forum crowds chanting “Gretzky sucks”. Then he got traded to the Kings and suddenly it was Valentine’s Day in August! :-)

  23. jimw81 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    congrats canada, better team won. but Dan Byslma got exposed as the biggest fraud in hockey.this put together one of the worst game plans i ever seen in a olympic hockey.

    • 19to77 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      Jeez. You’re desperate for someone to blame. You might as well blame Jonathan Quick too while you’re at it. Bylsma wasn’t the problem.

      • soro17 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        Bylsma couldn’t do too much. He is relying on guys like Kessel, Kane and Parise to score. Unfortunately, these guys are all small and easily forced to the perimeter by a team that knows how to play defence. Plus, the Canadian players know all of their tricks. The ‘meat’ line didn’t stand a chance against Canada – they just don’t skate well enough and Canada’s D was able to quickly breakout against them with ease. Go Suomi tomorrow!

      • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Thats exactly how I see it…put blame somewhere and on someone.

        The game was played very well all around, and unfortunately only one team can win.

    • dtownbeatdown - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      That is weak… USA averaged 5 goals a game. The played a better competitor this time around. DEAL WITH IT AND STOP MAKING AMERICA LOOK LIKE A BUNCH OF PANSIES!!

      You should be happy USA is one of the top countries in hockey.

    • getinthefastlane - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Alright coach what was your game plan?
      Can we submit your resume to the next Olympics because its assumed you also have a Jack Adams award and a Stanley Cup to your name as well.

  24. paperlions - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    You really couldn’t ask for more out of a game. The players gave max effort, blocking shots, fighting for pucks, everyone on the ice playing responsible D, quality goal tending. It was entertaining the entire time and the team that played slightly better (and that is a better team) won.

    I’m okay with that.

  25. luvmnsports2012 - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Canadians suck balls

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Except on an Olympic hockey rink I guess…..

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      You are right, there are Canadians who suck balls and lots who don’t.what’s your point?

    • dueman - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      My old lady’s actually quite good at it!

      • handsofsweed - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:24 PM

        He ain’t lyin’. She’s the best.

      • elrock7 - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        Yeah she aint bad

    • dueman - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Told ya!

  26. stepanup - Feb 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Canada’s defense was suffocating. Not just the defenseman but the backchecking of the forwards. It was like the Canada was two steps ahead of the Americans and knew what the US forwards were going to do before they did. Impeccable game Canada. The shots do not accurately portray the beating this was. I also feel as though the 2010 team pushed the Canadiens harder than they were today.

    Big brother just gave little brother one hell of a dead arm.

  27. biggdaddy007 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    usa=U SUCK ASS

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      UAAA= U Are An Ass

      • dueman - Feb 21, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        I’m wondering just how insecure a guy has to be to call himself biggdaddy007?

  28. jbeagles23 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Last time USA won a meaningful hockey game it was against Iceland and was shown to us by Disney

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      That was a tough tournament, I remember they faced the likes of Trinidad and Tobago…who knew the hockey powers at the youth Goodwill Games were so different? That’s why Gordon Bombay was recruited to coach by pro teams though I guess…

  29. blomfeld - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:07 PM


    Friends, I’m a man of ‘torn’ emotions here. Because while I find myself rejoicing for Canada, I’m also now carrying a very ‘heavy’ heart for Quick and my American friends. Nonetheless, both teams played ‘terrifically’ and this game must surely remove any lingering doubt that North American hockey rules !

    or does it ? …

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      I hope it will but Sweden’s got a solid team. Canada’s going to have to play very well, again.

  30. beergold - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    On a bright note for the USA now Brian Burke can take ten minutes to get a haircut !

    On a serious note…Great Game!

  31. crusty14 - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Canada is a tundra year round in a lot of places? Someone needs a geography lesson!

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Canada is a tundra year round in a lot of places…. go up north and you’ll find all kinds of tundra.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        More Tundras in California than all of Canada. Toyota!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 21, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        OK, a Canuck here. Tundra might technically not be the right word, but chilly sure fits. Axel Heiberg Island is simply not a summer vacation paradise. It just isn’t. But while Canada may have a smidge more ice to skate on, the US does have roughly 10 times the population to draw from. Either way, two great teams, and a really good game.

  32. nhstateline - Feb 21, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Congratulations Canada!!! The better team in every way won today. And thank you to the players on our USA men’s and women’s teams. One lost in the final game and the other got in the medal round. Those are things to be proud of and things for the country’s program to build on.

  33. xaile94 - Feb 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    USA played a good/great game. a game that wins almost 9/10 times. Canada played a flawless game. this wasn’t a talent difference. it was an execution difference. the top 5 teams in this tournament (Canada, Sweden, US, Russia, Finland) have reached the talent threshold to win any game where they execute as well as Canada did today. congrats to the Canadians. The referendum on these Olympics (aside from the giant “Eff you” to Russia) will be the North American teams finally bringing strong games to the big ice surface.

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