While hockey fans in Canada continue to revel in the incredible gold-medal comeback victory of the Canadian women’s team at the Winter Olympics, the outcome remains hard to swallow in the United States.
Canada’s 3-2 victory over the Americans in overtime will go down as one of the cruelest losses in Olympic and American sports history.
Trailing by two goals heading into the final four minutes of the game, the Canadians scored twice, including the trying goal with its goaltender pulled for an extra skater, to force an overtime.
There, Canada was enjoying the man advantage when Marie-Philip Poulin proved to be the hero, directing home the winning goal and the celebration was on for Team Canada, which had secured the Olympic gold once again.
Two of the three penalties called in the extra frame went against the Americans.
And while U.S. coach Katey Stone would not come right out and criticize the officials for the loss, she was clearly irked by the turn of events.
Said U.S. center Kelli Stack, whose clearing shot with her team still holding a 2-1 lead late in the game clanked off the post of the empty Canadian goal: “It would’ve been nice if they just let us play, but you can’t control what calls the ref’s going to make. I’d rather [they] let us beat the crap out of each other and have no penalties called at all.”
“Heartbreaking” and “demoralizing” were just a couple of words the U.S. contingent muttered afterward in post-game interviews
The U.S. will have their chance at redemption on Friday when its men’s team takes on Canada in a semi-final game at the Olympics.
Like the women, the competition between the two countries in the men’s game remains a heated rivalry.
In anticipation of Friday’s game, a creative billboard in Skokie, situated just outside of Chicago, has drawn Canadian pop icon Justin Bieber into the hockey fray.
The billboard features a couple of Chicago Blackhawks players in Patrick Kane, a member of the U.S. team, and Jonathan Towes, who plays for Canada, whose pictures are plastered around one of Bieber.
“LOSER KEEPS BIEBER,” proclaims the billboard’s text that accompanies the photos.
Bieber lives in California and his well-publicized recent run-ins with the U.S. authorities, including charges of driving under the influence, have led to suggestions that the U.S. government should take steps to deport the singer back to Canada.
Nothing like a bit of controversy to spice up Friday’s gold-medal contest in men’s curling between Canada and Great Britain.
It seems that Soren Gran, the coach of the Great Britain team, is just a bit miffed over the so-called aggressive nature of the Team Canada outfit, skipped by Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Jacobs and his teammates have been known to celebrate a good shot with the odd fist pump or a slam of the broom into the ice when an end has not gone their way.
"The aggressive style we have seen from the Canadians here, that’s something I don’t like about the sport,” Gran said. “I don’t think it helps anyone. It doesn’t help the player and it doesn’t’ help his teammates.
"I tell my guys to work a different way. If they miss a shot they’ve got another 15 to play, you can’t be angry with the one you miss."
A coffee controversy is also brewing in Sochi after it was discovered that NBC, the official U.S. broadcaster for the Olympics, had arranged for a Starbucks counter to be set up in its private compound expressly for the enjoyment of NBC employees.
NBC employees were often seen parading around the Olympic grounds toting the distinctive Starbucks cup.
But after news of the arrangement broke, NBC employees who showed up at the counter the other day to get their caffeine fix were met with the warning not to take their purchases off NBC space.
Starbucks, unlike McDonald’s, is not an Olympic sponsor.