Photo: Columbus Dispatch
It may have been “just a tune-up game” prior to the official start of the World Cup of Hockey, but any time Team Canada and Team USA butt heads, it’s pretty much must-see-TV. Tonights game did not disappoint.
Jonathan Quick got the start in goal for Team USA. Carey Price got the start for Team Canada. This was Price’s first appearance between the pipes since sustaining an injury back in November of last year.
The theme of this game was pretty consistent for all three periods. Team Canada would come out at the start of each period and outshoot Team USA by a significant margin. As each period wore on, Team USA would slowly gain control, and begin to outshoot Team Canada.
The game started with a fast and furious pace, as the first ten minutes saw nothing but end-to-end, physical play. However, Team USA wouldn’t register an official shot on goal until the 7:54 mark of first period. TJ Oshie was called for the game’s first penalty (hooking) with 9:41 left in the first period, giving Team Canada the first power play of the game, but Canada would be unable to covert on the man advantage.
Team Canada held a slight offensive advantage early in the period, leading 12-4 in shots on goal at the 10-minute mark, but Team USA would slowly gain control of the game as the period progressed. Jonathan Quick made several nice saves early in the first period, keeping Team Canada off the scoreboard.
Zach Parise would grab the lead for Team USA on a back-hand rebound from in front of the net at 16:56 of the first period. Team USA would strike again about a minute later when Patrick Kane knocked home a rebound from the right front with 1:58 left in the period.
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Things got a bit chippy following the second goal by Team USA as Sidney Crosby took a cheap shot on a Team USA player.
Team USA would go on their first power play with 1:21 to go in the first period, but would be unable to convert before the period expired. Team USA led in shots on goal 17-15 for the period.
There was a relatively slower pace to the start of the second period, but still a quick and physical style of game. Jonathan Quick continued to look sharp in net for Team USA, as Team Canada stepped up the offensive pressure early in the second period. Canada led 8-1 in shots on goal for the first ten minutes of the middle frame. Team USA’s defense continued with their strong play, allowing very few second opportunities for Team Canada.
Team Canada would finally find the back of the net at 13:24 of the middle frame on a knock-in of a rebound by Patrice Bergeron.
Team USA would regain the two goal lead a few minutes later on a rebound knock-in by Joe Pavelski at 15:54 of the middle frame.
The 3rd goal by Team USA turned up the juice in the contest, as the hitting and pace picked up. Team USA went on the power play late in the period as the result of some unfriendliness after Kessler boarded Shea Weber, but Dustin Byfuglien would be called for roughing, negating the man advantage for the red, white and blue, and resulting in a 3-on-3 for 45 seconds. The period would end with Team USA leading 3-1. Team Canada outshot Team USA 18-7 in the second period.
Ben Bishop took over in goal for Jonathan Quick for Team USA in the third period. Team Canada would cut the lead to 3-2 on a blistering slap shot by Drew Doughty at 5:20 of the third period.
Team USA would shut the door on Team Canada from that point forward, adding an empty net goal by Derek Stepan late for the 4-2 win.
Some of the scenes from the game:
By Jon Sorensen