Watching Team USA vs. Team Canada was yet another example of why this is one of the top rivalries in sports.Both teams battled hard and to see the end result being a one goal, overtime win by Canada goes to show you the intensity and development of both of these programs. For Canada it was nothing but smiles, although for Team USA, it was nothing but tears.Giving up a two goal lead in the last three and a half minutes of the game and eventually losing in overtime, is a heartbreaker for Team USA. The feeling of having a gold medal, at your finger tips and eventually losing in the final moments, is a tough pill to swallow.
When you look back on the game you see how doing all the little things right can add up.Team USA had the speed, puck movement, blocking shots, all the things that needed to be done, were being done, although in the final few moments things went south and when you look back at one key moment and what could have been disastrous for Team Canada was the empty net, shot off the post.
When the puck came around the boards and the referee stood in the way of the Team Canada defenseman, the USA forward shot the puck down the ice. As the puck moved down the ice, many things raced through your mind. “Is that going to go in”, “This is going to create some controversy”. The puck didn’t go in, it rang off the post and stayed out of the net.When you say, hockey is a game of inches, that moment defines that. One inch the other way and that could have gone in, putting the USA up by two goals again and most likely that would have been the icing on the cake. But Team Canada was able to capitalize shortly after that miss, sending the game into overtime and eventually winning their fourth straight gold medal in women’s hockey.
Hockey is a sport where even the smallest mistake or smallest play, can change the outcome of a game. For Team USA they can look back at what went wrong in the final five minutes and in overtime, but for Team Canada, they will look at how they persevered and were able to keep battling and pull off the comeback victory. Although when you look at the big picture, both teams should be looking at how much they have developed women’s hockey, and the sport of hockey. Both teams have amazing skill, determination and work ethic, and should be proud of how they played at the 2014 Olympics. They have developed their sport into one of the most talked about sports at the winter Olympics and have encouraged more, young hockey players to follow their passion and grow the best game in the world!
About the Author,
Ryan Fairbarn is a former professional hockey player, a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate, founder of RyanFairbarn.com and Co-owner of Swedishstickhandling.com. Also a Wellness Coach and Director of Marketing and Social Media at Ideal Weight- Total Well Coach.