USA Hockey Skaters Know The Match Against Canada Isn't the End

Tyler JuranovichCorrespondent IIIFebruary 22, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 21:  Zach Parise #9 (C) and Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the United States celebrate after Langenbrunner scored a power play goal in the third period as goalie Martin Brodeur #30 and Chris Pronger #20 of Canada look on dejected during the ice hockey men's preliminary game between Canada and USA on day 10 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 21, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. Team USA won 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The American hockey team did the unbelievable by beating the heavily favored and gold favored Canadian team Sunday night.

In a game that is being compared to the epic and infamous 1980 semi-final match that pitted the young and inexperienced USA team against the dominating Soviet Union.

While this years' game is not even close to the status of the 1980 game played in Lake Placid, it brings back the memories of Americans becoming excited for American hockey.

But the USA hockey team needs to stay focused a win the next game.

"It's three points and it's a highly touted game that a lot of people put emphasis on," Backes said. "But we said before the game this isn't going to be the most important game we play."

The Americans have a long road ahead of them if they want to bring home gold for the first time in 30 years. The Americans bought time for themselves to recuperate, letting the Canadians hold their fate in their hands Tuesday night against the Germans.

It'll be a test of endurance and will power, that will certainly test every aspect of the Americans game. Veteran help has been key to the Americans' victories.

"Veteran leadership; there's not much of it, but those are the guys that came here tonight and got it done," said Backes, who is making a name for himself on the international game's biggest stage. "Ryan Miller, Brian Rafalski, Jamie Langenbrunner. Those are guys that are blue-collar and get it done."

With the mix of young talent and veteran leadership the Americans are making a name for themselves. The Canadians, on paper, were better in almost every single position.

The Americans didn't let that bother them at all.  They came here for one reason and one reason only. To win a gold medal.

"Those guys know what to do to win," said American coach Ron Wilson