This is the game that Americans and Canadians both were hoping for when the bracket was released. For the Americans, a win would solidify their position as one of the top international teams and assure them an undefeated record in the Olympics.The Canadians are looking to avenge the group play loss at the hands of the US and to take home the gold medal that the Canadian people care the most about.
This gold medal game is a rematch of the 2002 Winter Olympics, where Canada triumphed over the United States. In 2002, the Canadian women also defeated the American women--something that happened in these Games as well.
Game one: United States 6, Finland 1
The United States came out of the gate very fast and pushed the tempo and aggressiveness of the game to a pace the Finns had a tough time handling. The first goal came for the United States at 2:04 when Finland goalie Miikka Kiprusoff's failed clearing attempt landed on the tape of Ryan Malone, who fired it pat a diving Kipper for an early US lead. Then the flood gates opened as Zach Parise scored a power play goal, Erik Johnson scored another power play goal, Patrick Kane tallied goals two minutes apart, and then a Paul Stastny goal capped the tremendous first period beat down for the United States at 6-0.
Kiprusoff gave up 4 goals on 7 shots before being pulled for Niklas Backstrom. US goalie Ryan Miller was pulled in the game, but not because of poor play but rather in favor of resting him for the gold medal game. Tim Thomas gave up the lone Finland goal, to Antti Miettinen, in relief of Miller. Miller stopped all 18 shots he faced and improved to a 5-0 in these Olympics. Miller has allowed a total of 5 goals in 5 games, 3 of those coming against Canada.
Brian Rafalski assisted on the Parise goal and the second Kane goal and finished a +2. He also took a kneeing penalty, oddly enough on Red Wing teammate Valtteri Filppula. Filppula finished a -1 with 0 SOG.
Game two: Canada 3, Slovakia 2
This game was a lot closer than the United State one and a lot of that credit goes to the tight defensive game that Slovakia played. Patrick Marleau scored first for the Canadians on a re-direct of a Shea Weber shot from the point past Jaroslav Halak.Brendan Morrow put the Canadians up by two about two minutes later. Ryan Getzlaf scored from his knees in the second period to give the Canadians a commanding 3-0 lead going into the final frame of play. The Slovakians showed their quick score ability in the third period. Lubomir Visnovsky put a shot on Roberto Luongo as he went behind the net and it bounced in off Luongo for the first Slovakian goal. Michal Handzus scored a rebound goal at 15:07 but with under 5 minutes to play the Slovakians were unable to rally past the Canadians.
Canada only registered 28 shots on goal, Slovakia 21 in a very close game due to defensive play on both sides.