Olympic Hockey Preliminary Round Wrap Up
The preliminary round of the 2010 Winter Olympics ice hockey is over and so far the United States has not lost a game. Both the men and women are 3-0. The women have outscored their opponents by an amazing margin of 30 goals, allowing only one goal against. The women easily cruised through Finland, Russia, and China. Clearly, the United States and Canada are the top 2 teams in women's Olympic hockey, with Canada going undefeated and outscoring opponents 41-2. Just earlier today, they beat Sweden 9-1 to reach the gold medal game.
In the men's hockey, the United States and Sweden remain the only undefeated teams. The United States top highlight was beating Canada last night in a thrilling upset victory. I give Ryan Miller the star of the game for this one. He posted 42 saves in a game where Canada outshot the U.S. 45-22. Brian Rafalski also made huge contributions with 2 goals and an assist. The ending of this game was one of the most exciting I have watched since last year's Stanley Cup playoffs. This win gives the United States the top seed going into the playoff round and knocks Canada out of the first round bye. This is a huge let down for the 1-1-1-0 Canada team (1 is for overtime win) who many thought would be the top team in the Olympics.
As a Washington Capitals fan, I have to mention the play of Alex Ovechkin in the Olympics. He is showing his electrifying play on the world stage now. He has 2 goals, 2 assists, and a +2 in the 3 games. Ovechkin's biggest and most talked about play of the Olympics was his hit on Jaromir Jagr during the Russia vs Czech Republic game. Ovechkin made a crushing hit on Jagr that let to a Russia goal. If you have not seen it, check it out on You Tube immediately. Overall, Russia is 2-0-0-1. Russia alost to Slovakia in a shootout, so they take the 3rd spot after the U.S. and Sweden. Both the top dogs, Canada and Russia, went down once, but do not count them out for the Gold Medal just yet. Both teams are stacked and can easily make the medal run.
I am very proud of how well the U.S. men's and women's teams have performed. It is great to see my country doing well, not only in hockey, but in the entire Olympics. The USA currently has the most medals of any country. I am excited to watch the U.S. hockey teams continue in the quest for the gold medal. The women's final is Thursday, Feb 25 at 6:30. The men's final is Sunday at 3:15. Hopefully one of them can pull it off. If I cannot see the U.S. men's team in the finals, I would love to see Russia vs Canada. As I said, these are two teams with many great players. And how great would it be to watch the Great 8 and Sid the Kid add more fire to their rivalry by playing in the Olympics? Both stars could help lead their countries to the Gold Medal game. First Caps vs Penguins, then Russia vs Canada. It does not get much better than that.