You can breathe now, Canada. Wednesday's men's hockey game featuring Canada and Latvia was supposed to be an easy game for Canada in which they would cruise to the semifinal. Especially since Latvia wasn't even supposed to make it this far themselves. The game started off with Canada dominating and that's how it would be throughout the whole game. However, their domination didn't lead to goals. They controlled the possession, they dominated in the shot count, and they won the face off battle. None of that seemed to phase Latvia as they remained in the game throughout the entire 60 minutes.
Canada got on the board first as Patrick Sharp scored just over six minutes into the game. Latvia answered back just two minutes later on a set play off the face off. Lauris Darzins was set up on a breakaway and deked out Carey Price to tie the game at 1-1. Canada would get back to controlling the game, but couldn't get anything past Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis.
The teams headed into the first intermission tied at 1-1 and the score would remain that way until 13 minutes into the third period. Shea Weber blasted a shot from the point that Gudlevskis had no chance at stopping. Weber's goal came on the power play and it gave Canada a 2-1 lead.
13:37 CAN GOAL: Patrick Sharp (1) assisted by Rick Nash
15:41 LAT GOAL: Lauris Darzins (4) assisted by Arturs Kulda and Janis Sprukts
Here are some notes from the game:
- The story of the game was Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis. The 21 year old stopped 52 of the 54 shots he faced and was almost impossible to beat.
- Canada forward John Tavares left the game in the second period after taking a hard hit. Tavares did not return and his status for the rest of the Olympics remains in question. It is said to be a knee injury for Tavares.
- Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry continue to be the team's best forwards and seem to dominate every time they are on the ice. Toews looked to have possibly scored in the third period, but a Latvian defenseman put his hand on the puck in the crease to stop it from going in. The play should have resulted in a penalty shot for Toews but the referees missed the call.
- Canadian goaltender Carey Price only faced 13 shots on net and he stopped 12 of them. Although Price wasn't tested very much, he did have to make some big saves to keep Canada in the game.
The United States won their quarterfinal game 5-2 over the Czech Republic.
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- Sidney Crosby Named Captain of Team Canada
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