Sunday, February 23, 2014

Canada Wins Olympic Gold

Canada won their second consecutive gold medal at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia with a dominating 3-0 defeat of Sweden, their second consecutive shutout.

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Canada celebrates it's 2014 Olympic gold

Jonathan Toews opened the scoring with his first goal of the Olympics when he redirected a centering pass from Jeff Carter past Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist at 12:55 to give Canada yet another lead, as they did not trail in any game of the tournament. Not once. The shots on goal after one period were 12-11 in favor of Canada, while both teams hit the post in other close calls which could have changed the complexion of the game.

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Jonathan Toews looks to celebrate with Jeff Carter

While Sweden had the run of play early in the second period, a turnover near the blueline led to a Sidney Crosby breakaway. Crosby once again was the man in the right place at the right time with the right talent and nerves of steel and made it 2-0 Canada as he left Lundqvist sprawling at 16:43. It was also Crosby's first goal of the Olympics and, going into the game, you just knew that he and Toews were not going the entire tournament without each one of them a scoring a goal at some point. Apparently they understand the concept of saving their best for last… The shots after the second period stood at 23-20 in favor of the Canadians.

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Crosby rises to the occasion once again

While one hoped for a Swedish goal (or two) to make for a competitive and memorable finish, it was not to be as the Canadians extended their lead to 3-0 at the 9:04 mark when Chris Kunitz swooped in, stole the puck from Daniel Sedin at the blueline, skated into the zone and ripped a shot past Lundqvist using a Swedish defender as a screen to ice the game despite half a period remaining.

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Chris Kunitz extends Canada's lead to 3-0

Canada held Sweden to a mere four shots in the third period at a time when the Swede's needed to throw pucks at the net and crash the crease in an effort to get on the board and put a dent in the Canadian's ever increasing confidence. In the end, Canada outshot Sweden 13-4 in the third and 36-24 for the game, with goaltender Carey Price assuring himself a permanent place in Canadian hockey history with his dominating gold medal performance. In five games, Price allowed 3 goals on 106 shots for an unbelievable .972 save percentage.

Only Norway, Finland and Latvia managed to score on Canada during the tournament, with each managing a single goal. The last goal given up by Price came at 15:41 of the first period of their game against Latvia four days and 164:19 minutes of play ago to earn him Best Goalkeeper honors.

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Carey Price takes center stage after two consecutive shutouts

Today's featured jersey is a 2014 Canada National Team Carey Price jersey as worn on February 13th vs. Norway. Nike introduced all new jerseys for Canada for the 2014 Olympics, and while the red and white jerseys were criticized for resembling the logo of the Petro Canada gas stations, were certain that with a gold medal in hand, no one is complaining now. Based on recent history, expect to see these jerseys used again in the 2014 and 2015 World Championships at a minimum before a new style replaces them, perhaps at the rumored World Cup of Hockey in August of 2016.

This jersey is currently up for auction, along with 24 other men's jerseys and 22 women's jerseys of the same style on ebay to raise funds for the Hockey Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation. As of the time of this writing with 8-10 hours left in the men's jersey auctions, the Crosby jersey is at $14,621.67, by far and away the highest over the $4,851.72 for the Toews followed closely the Price at $4,807.69.

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As a celebration of the Canadian gold medal victory in Sochi, our friends at Gettysburg Flag Works have generously donated a Canadian flag for us to give to one of our readers from north of the border. It's a nylon flag, 24" x 36", (61 cm x 91 cm) big and made for outdoor use, but you can certainly take it with you to your next Team Canada game and cheer on your squad, perhaps the next World Juniors in Toronto and Montreal.

Be sure to visit Gettysburg Flag Works to check out their large assortment of many baseball, football and NASCAR flags and banners among the many products they offer.

To be the lucky winner of the flag, which retails for $36.65, just send us an email at Spyboy1@gmail.com and be the first one to tell us how many Olympic gold medals Canada has now won. Be sure to include your address and good luck to all!

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