Ok, I know its been a while since Uncle Mitsy was able to write a post. Even Le Cap has been giving me a hard time. The truth is I snuck off to Pyeongchang to catch a little Olympic Hockey action. The Olympic experience is everything one would expect. People from all over the world coming together as ONE…to get absolutely hammered and cheer on sports they normally could care less about! Good times!
As for the reason I was there…hockey. These Olympics marks the first time since 1994 that the NHL would not allow their players to participate in the games. Although you loose the star power there was a chance for a new name to emerge. With NHL players there is no Miracle on Ice. Imagine, Mike Eruzione would have had to work for the past 38 years and who really wants that??? Our ladies entered the games are pre tournament favorites along with Canada. Really there are only two teams in women’s hockey, US and Canada. Needles to say Both US teams lived up to expectations! The Women’s team by winning GOLD…and the Men’s team for being Awful.
Lets start with the Men’s team, because it will be short. The United States of America Men’s ice hockey team was made up of a few former NHL players, mostly AHL and European players and 4 current college players. Unfortunately for the men there was no hero to come out of the games. The US went 2-3 in the tournament. 2 of their loses came in OT or a shootout. Their 2 wins both came across Slovakia. Current Harvard Junior and Bruins draft pick Ryan Donato was the teams leading scorer with 5 goals and 6 points a the games. University of Denver star Troy Terry was second on the team with 5 points. Once again US was out of a medal and out of the minds of the US general population.
But then there are the Women. The women’s program has been a world powerhouse for over 20 years. They won the first ever women’s gold medal at the games in 1998 and have medaled at every Olympics since, having won Silver in ’02, ’10, ’14 and Bronze in ’06.
The women breezed through the prelims going 2-1 (loss 2-1 to Canada.) Then on the elimination round where they beat Finland for the 2nd time in the games by a score of 5-0. Next stop GOLD MEDAL Game, against who,….don’t want to ruin the surprise but it’s…..CANADA! I mean who could have seen this coming?
This game was everything it was hyped up to be. The US started the scoring in the first when Hilary Knight had a great redirection on the power play with :26 sec left in the period.
However, Canada would come out hard scoring 2 in the second period and took the lead into the final frame. The US could not capitalize on several chances and found themselves 20 min away from another silver.
It took the US almost 14 minutes before Monica Lamoureux-Morando tied the game off of a great breakout pass on a US power play.
The game would end in a tie. Overtime could not decide a winner, so the Gold medal game would go to a shootout. International hockey is the only governing body that allows a shootout to decided a championship but enough about that…
Jocelyne Amoureux (twin sister of Monica) scored what will go down as the great shootout move in womens (and possibly mens) history. How awesome must this have been for Mr. and Mrs Lamoureux. I know I was so excited I spilled my beer by ‘accident’ on a Norwegian fan….screw Norway!!! USA USA USA!