USA Beats Canada: "Miracle on Ice 2?"
Many people are comparing the USA's 5-3 win over Canada in Olympic Men's Hockey last Sunday to the original "Miracle on Ice" 1980 USA Olympic victory over the USSR. And although last Sunday's game was an exciting upset, it hardly holds up to one of the greatest sports moments in the history of the United States.
Sure, there are several similarities between the two games. The United States pulled off a big upset in both, the Canadians, like the 1980 Russian team, were/are considered favorites to win it all, and the US won by outskating/outworking their opponents, as well as fantastic goaltending.
That is where the similarities end, however.
Here are the reasons that the "Miracle on Ice 2" labels are completely inappropriate, presented in list form:
1) The USA team is made up of professional hockey players, unlike the 1980's team, which was comprised of a bunch of unknown college kids
2) Although Canada is a veritable All-Star team of the NHL's best talent, they haven't played together for as long as the USSR team had, and weren't considered unbeatable
3) The U.S. isn't on the brink of war with Canada (yet).
Tensions had just reached a boiling point between the United States and the USSR when the Lake Placid Olympics took place, as the Soviets were invading Afghanistan at the time—giving the upset a much larger significance.
4) And, most importantly, the United States-Canada game was NOT in a medal round. Unlike the 1980 game, which was in the semifinals (the US would go on to beat Finland for the gold), the "Miracle on Ice 2" was in the preliminary round. That means that Canada can still win a gold medal, and the U.S. might come away empty handed!
So, the comparisons to the Miracle on Ice are a little unfounded, but that is no reason to stop watching these Olympic Hockey games.
The United States looked fantastic against Canada, which goes to show that teamwork is more valuable than talent in the long run.
The U.S. will next face Switzerland, who they beat 3-1 in the prelims, this afternoon at 12:00 in a quarterfinal game.
Canada won their last game against Germany 8-2, so the stage is set for a rematch.
Another win over Canada would be huge, as they consider hockey to be "their game". Imagine a team from Canada coming over and beating our Super Bowl champions at football. That is the type of humiliation that Canadians feel when the U.S. beats their hockey team.
Although the last outing may not have been a Miracle on Ice moment, these Olympic Hockey game are some of the most exciting in recent memory, and if the U.S. can continue winning, we can finally shut up the haters who don't respect American hockey.
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