Incredible Canadian Charge Runs Out Of Time

The game had fast become a disappointing blow-out as the Russians racked up a 6-1 lead after two periods, led by Evgeni Kuznetsov with 3 goals and an assist, and Nail Yakupov with four assists. The partisan Canadian crowd at Calgary’s Saddledome sat on their hands, and I suppose most of us conceded the game to Russia by the time the third period came along with the visitors holding a five-goal lead and the Canadians becoming undisciplined and unraveling fast..

But then, Russia’s practically unbeatable goalie, 17 year old Andrei Vasilevski, was beaten, and the game became 6-2. Then it was 6-3, then 6-4, and shockingly, 6-5. The Saddledome was in explosion mode, several millions of us moved to the edge of our seats, and we watched and held our breath as Canada peppered the replacement goaltender Makarov from every angle. They hit the post, they came within inches, and my heart almost blew a valve.

In the end, the Russians held on for a 6-5 win and will meet Sweden for the gold, while Canada toughs it out with Finland for the bronze. But what a game, what a third period, what a finish. Regardless of the outcome, this is what hockey is all about. This is why it’s the world’s most exciting game.

Congratulations to Russia on this night. And to the Canadian boys, you did us proud. You came within a whisker of giving us one of the most memorable nights in hockey history. You never quit and came back and scratched and clawed the way Canadian hockey players do in big games like this. From this Canadian hockey fan, thanks.

Random Notes:

Montreal prospect Brendan Gallagher was a major force in the stirring third period, and the Habs have a good one on their hands.

Canada outshot the Russians 56-24. If only they had started their charge sooner than the third.

8 thoughts on “Incredible Canadian Charge Runs Out Of Time”

  1. Losing this game was easier to handle than last year’s loss after leading 3-0 in the third period. This must be how Leaf fans survive most NHL seasons; they fall behind early, then out of it mid-way only to have a too-little-too-late comeback at the end to make us feel better.

    I’m guessing the Russians are the early favourites for next year’s tournament to be held in Russia. If I heard correctly almost half their team is eligible to return. Going in as underdogs may be beneficial, three years without a gold medal is already too long. I want Team Canada dynasties as well as Montreal Canadien dynasties.

  2. Such a heart-breaker of a game, as was the Sweden vs Finland match.

    It’s too bad they don’t have a best of X amount of games to decide the medal finalists. Even a best of five or three.

    And they should not allow shoot outs to decide the outcome for semifinal games either. That’s just wrong.

    But that’s sports. There has to be a winner and sadly that means someone has to suffer the agony of defeat.

    Great hockey.

    Congratulations to Russia and to Team Canada. Both these great hockey nations will meet again I’m sure in the very near future.

  3. I agree with Christopher that this time around was a little easier to take than last year, still the heart-breaker though…:(

    I also agree with Danno that shootouts have no business in semifinals. Even quarterfinals.

  4. Wow, what a third period, Danno. The Russians were very much in control and all of a sudden, Canada took over. After seeing so many dull NHL games this year, this was like a breath of fresh air. It looked like it could become 8-1 or so, and ended 6-5. Just amazing.

  5. Superb young talent on the ice for both teams ….

    To bad we lost but we are going to have to rethink our view of being devastated when we don’t win a title…

    Remember many decades ago England assumed it owned the title of number one in the world in soccer…. Soccer’s a world game as is ice hockey now…
    But it still hurts when we lose….

    Just look at the talent the Habs have on the junior Canadian team ….
    Gallagher etc …..

  6. Gallagher took a stupid penalty though that led to a goal. Beaulieu also gave up on a play that led to another goal. When I saw both incidents I thought: ah, they are true Habs for sure!

    I won’t give up on them but it is nice to see that Gallagher looks pretty good. I like how he goes to the net and parks himself there. He could end up being quite the player for us. If we end up picking first overall in the draft (don’t I wish) that Russian guy (Yakupov)would look great in a Habs uniform.

  7. Darth, I thought Gallagher pretty well led the charge in the third period, but there’s just one thing about him – it looks like he needs to get much stronger. Those big NHLers would handle him, I think, without much problem. But having said that, he’s young and he will get stronger. He’s certainly a dynamic player, and we need dynamic players. We also need a dynamic stick boy.

  8. Ditto to Danno and Margo assertion that no elimination game should be decided by shoot-out. It makes as much sense as flipping a coin.

    Leaf Fan, maybe one day I’ll stop being devastated when Team Canada doesn’t win, but first I have to stop being devastated when the Canadiens don’t win the Stanley Cup.

    Darth and Dennis, Gallagher looks like another speedy, hard-working skilled forward. I’m a bit worried that he falls into the smallish-yet-shifty right winger category. I’m more optimistic he’ll follow into the Yvan Cournoyer or Martin St. Louis mold.

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