With another win notched on their belts, Canada heads into the semifinals of the men's hockey tournament. This win came at the expense of a 7-3 beat down of the Russians. The game was hard fought and well played on both sides of the puck.
The Canadians immediately came out firing and were up 3-0 early in the first, never looking back. The continued to pour it on through the rest of the game. Not only did they pour on goals, but also will the physicality. Checks were thrown constantly between the two bitter rivals, neither one backing down from the fight, no matter how out of hand the score got. While the game got out of hand quick, the Russians never backed down from this brawl of a hockey game. The game constantly went back and forth, never slowing down for even a second. Stoppages in play were few and far between. With Danny Boyle firing on all cylinders, Roberto Luongo nearly impenetrable, and the offense exploding on the Russians, all was well with the Canadian national team against a great team for the first time in recent memory. This firmly makes up for the USA win over them, cements them as true contenders in these Olympic games. This was truly a game for the ages, no matter the score. It was not as if the Russians backed down, the Canadians just put the puck in the net. If anything, the game got more intense as the score got more out of hand. The only time Russia seemed to back down was when goalie Evgeni Nabokov was pulled with 13:13 left in the 2nd period. However, Russia quickly regained their composure, not in scoring, but at least in competitive play.
With this game, all is right with the hockey world. The Canadians move on looking to win a medal in men's ice hockey for the first time on home soil. However, they must first make it through the winner of the Sweden-Slovakia game later tonight. Since the Swedes won the Olympic gold medal four years ago in Turin, they are the favorites to advance and play team Canada. However, Slovakia, as already shown in these games, can be giant killers. Whoever Canada plays will present a new challenge to this rejuvenated squad.