The final day of Group play has come to an end. Both teams would battle back and forth, but it would be Team Canada who would come out on top with a goal in the overtime period, defeating Team Finland 2-1 and earning the Top Spot in Group B.
There would be a lot of back and forth between these two teams, but it wouldn’t be until after the halfway point that someone would find the back of the net. That distinction would go to Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty who would net his 3rd goal of these Olympic Games.
Late in the third period, Tuukka Rask made the impossible save for Team Finland. While watching the play on the right side of the net, he blatantly left the left side of the net wide open. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was able to get his hands on the puck and take it behind the net for a beautiful wrap around. Unfortunately, on his way around Toews lost his balance, but still managed to get the puck on track to find the back of the net. Fortunately for Team Finland, Rask was able to see the puck coming and make the diving save.
The second period would start off at a pretty standard pace. Both teams would battle back and forth. While it was Canada who put more shots on net this period, it would be Finland who would be able to pull the trigger.
With just two minutes left in the second period, Carolina Hurricanes right wing Tuomo Ruutu would sink one home with the assists from Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jussi Jokinen and Jokerit defenseman Ossi Vaananen. This would tie the game for the Finnish team.
The third period was a lot of back and forth between the two teams; however, none of them would be able to pull the trigger and win the game in regulation for their country. After the final twenty minutes, the buzzer would sound and this game would be headed to overtime.
The overtime period would be all Canada would need to get the job done. Just over the halfway point in overtime, Drew Doughty would score his second goal of the night, his fourth of the tournament, and put Team Canada into the top spot in Group B.
That goal was so uncharacteristic of Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, allowing the puck to sail between his legs and right into the net. Rask made 25 stops on 27 shots giving him a Save Percentage of .925.
On the other side of the ice, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stopped all but one of the 15 shots that were brought against him. Certainly, this is less than the 27 shots that Rask had brought against him, but gave Price a Save Percentage of .933 nonetheless. He may not have faced as many shots as Rask, but there is no denying that his tenacity in net attributed to Team Canada’s advancement to the top spot in the group.
After the fight they put up so far in the tournament, Team Canada will get a bye on the Qualification Round and will face the winner of the matchup between Team Switzerland and Team Latvia on Tuesday.
Team Canada has been the odds on favorite to win the gold this year after their performance at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. However, I think it is safe to say that there is a good possibility that these two teams could meet each other once again in a later round, but that will depend on how each team performs in the Quarterfinal Round.
Do you think Team Canada has what it takes to make it all the way to the top of the podium this year, or do you think they are going to have their work cut out for them in the upcoming rounds? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.
Make sure to check back with us here at Bolts By The Bay as the Men’s Olympic Hockey tournament continues. We will keep you up to date on when and where to watch and how your favorite teams and players are progressing through the tournament.