Canada is advancing to the Gold Medal game for the second straight Olympics with a 1-0 win over the United States. Jamie Benn scored the only goal of the game and Carey Price made 31 saves for the shutout.
The Canadians in an excellent defensive effort, have given up just three goals in the tournament and the Gold Medal game pegs the 2006 Gold Medal winner in Sweden up against the 2010 Gold Medal winner.
The Americans came into this game as a team built on being fast to the puck and we saw none of that today. Canada was the superior team by a wide margin and the game really felt like a 4-0 game in Canada’s favor than the end score of 1-0.
Canada was tremendous in clogging the middle and keeping the Americans to the outside. The Americans had trouble all game in sustaining an offensive attack or causing the Canadian’s trouble with an aggressive forecheck.
One complaint that I’m sure will emerge is that the U.S. sat back a bit too much, especially in the first and second period. Bylsma was employing a conservative game plan, playing a 1-2-2 for the better part of the first 45-50 minutes of the game. An odd game plan with this type of personnel that’s best strength is being hard on the puck and the opposition. Rarely saw a 2-1-2.
For Canada, they’re still struggling to finish opportunities but there was a lot of positives upfront, namely the top line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron. The line was dominant and yes that includes whipping boy Chris Kunitz who had a very strong game.
That’s a big positive for Canada going into Sunday’s Gold Medal game against Sweden.