BY: John Mamola
Jamie Benn’s redirect off a Jay Bouwmeester shot-pass was the lone tally in an epic defensive battle between the United States and Canada as the Canadians advance to the gold medal game with a 1-0 victory over Team USA. The US squad came into the game as the highest scoring team in Sochi (19 goals), but Canadian goaltender Carey Price was stellar between the pipes with 31 saves.
Following a scoreless first period which saw Canada outshoot the US 16-11, the United States’ speed and talent just couldn’t keep up with the pace of Team Canada. For much of the final half of the first period and the start of the second period, Canada held the high scoring American attack to only one shot on goal in a thirteen minute timeframe.
Benn’s tally came at the 1:41 mark of the second period off a toss by Bouwemeester from the left circle which slid past USA goalie Jonathan Quick who was screened well by Cory Perry. Following the goal by Benn, the game began to settle down and be a good back and forth with Canada outshooting USA 12-11 in the frame.
Canada’s defensive effort continued in the third period as they held the American’s out of the high scoring areas on the expanded ice. Team Canada’s defense continues to be impressive despite their low scoring in the Olympic games as they’ve only allowed a total of three goals in Sochi, Russia.
Jonathan Quick finished the game with 37 saves for the Americans. Team USA was 0-2 on the power play.
Canada advances to the Gold Medal final to face Sweden and attempt to be the first team to win back-to-back gold medals sine the NHL began sending its players to the Olympics in 1998. Sweden defeated Finland 2-1 earlier in the day. The United States advances to the Bronze medal game tomorrow against Finland with a 10:00am eastern time faceoff.