Canada’s Men’s Hockey team has met its first challenge in the 2010 Olympics. Team Switzerland came in to upset Canada the same way they did 4 years ago with a 2-0 victory in Turin. Martin Brodeur’s 21 saves in the 3-2 win were not as impressive as his clutch saves in the shootout.
Dany Heatley opened the scoring for Canada midway through the first period. He combined with teammate Patrick Marleau on Canada’s second goal of the game at the start of the second period after a point shot from Shea Weber deflected to Patrick Marleau at the side of the net.
A two on one play for Switzerland had Ivo Ruthemann scoring high glove side on Martin Brodeur at the half way mark of the game. Patrick Von Gunten scored the equalizer near the end of the second period after a shot deflected into the net off Patrick Marleau in the crease.
The third period saw Canada peppering Switzerland's goaltender Jonas Hiller with 18 shots, but Hiller stood tall to keep the door shut. Canada’s most threatening play came with a down low shot that went off the post. Hiller hit it back out to the high slot where Getzlaf was waiting. A bullet off his stick was grabbed by Hiller to force the game to overtime.
With overtime solving nothing, a shootout was needed to conclude the game. All six shooters through the first three rounds were stopped by Brodeur and Hiller, respectively. Sidney Crosby then came out as Canada’s fourth shooter. He made no mistake his second time around as he beat Hiller over the pad and under the glove for the shootout victory.
Canada secured 2 points with the win. They now have 5 points in the tournament and look to battle it out with the high flying Americans on Sunday night.
Micheal A. Aldred