It may not have been the showdown everyone expected but both goaltenders put on a show as Jonathan Quick and Carey Price were solid in Friday’s semi-final between Canada the United States. Dallas’s Jamie Benn tipped in a Jay Bouwmeester point shot in the second to open the scoring for the Canadians – and that was all the offense they needed, edging the US 1-0.
Entering Friday’s matchup, Team Canada was the team who couldn’t get any offense generated. While that trend did continue, the Americans seemed to have been bitten with the same bug as their neighbours to the north. While they were able to fire 31 shots against Price, few of those shots translated into feasible scoring opportunities. But while Price was on his game, so were his defensemen.
On this day, the Americans appeared to start the game playing very conservatively. Once Jamie Benn scored for Canada, it looked as though the US were trying a little too hard to play catch up. Fortunately for them, Jonathan Quick remembered to show up.
In what was a continuing theme from playing in Los Angeles, the Kings backstop had very little support up front but stood on his head anyway giving his team every possible chance to win or, at the very least, sending the game into overtime. Quick’s 36 saves made him the clear-cut choice as the game’s top star (okay, my choice at least) even though Price got the shutout and Benn scored the only goal.
After outshooting the US 15-11 in the first, Canada needed just 1:41 to open the scoring in the second. As previously mentioned, St. Louis’s Jay Bouwmeester took a point shot and recorded his first point of the tournament thanks to Jamie Benn tipping it in for the goal.
With the win, Canada now advances to the gold-medal game in a battle between the last two Olympic gold-medallists with Sweden winning in 2006 in Turin. As for the United States, they still have one more game to go. They may not be playing for the medal they wanted but they do have a shot at the bronze when they battle with Finland on Saturday.