I was lucky enough to score tickets to the USA vs. Switzerland Men's hockey quarterfinal game, so I shot a few pictures to help share the experience.
There were many U.S. fans in attendance, but for some reason the crowd was slightly dominated with chants that sounded close enough to "Go Swiss!" by thousands of red and white sweaters in the building.
Ah ha - the Canadians are not here to support Team USA, not after Sunday's monumental Canada loss.
A lot of smiles on the bench...or perhaps they are grinding their teeth. The Americans were either over-confident in this game or too nervous, which would be shocking considering they had already beaten the Swiss in pool play.
Truthfully, much credit is due to Team Switzerland, which played perhaps its best game of the tournament. Jonas Hiller was excellent.
It was evident that the more informed Swiss fans had no love for David Backes after when he was involved in a scrum in front of Jonas Hiller. The team feels the same way.
This is spawned from an incident that occurred at the 2009 World Championships in which Backes legally decked Julien Sprunger, who then flew backwards and hit his neck on the top of the dashers where it meets the glass.
Sprunger required surgery and psycho-therapy to get ready for the Olympics.
Go Backes, go.
Ryan Miller, like he has been all tournament, was fantastic in this game yet again.
He wasn't bombarded like he was on Sunday versus Canada, but that was largely because of some tremendous shot-blocking in front of him by nearly every U.S. player. Drury and Callahan, as well as Orpik and Gleason, are masters at this.
The U.S. held on by a score of 2-0 to advance to the Semi-Final game, which we now know will be against Finland.
The game was followed, as all Olympic games are, with the traditional line of hockey hand shakes.
For a sport that is often viewed as low-brow and barbaric, this tradition is overlooked for its display of sportsmanship, honor, and respect.
A question that I am sometimes asked is, "Are there ever altercations in the hand-shake lines?"
To my knowledge, there are not. I'm sure it has happened, but hockey players view the postgame hand shake line as a sacred practice, and displaying anything but proper respect is utter blasphemy.
This is an iconic tradition that is unmatched in any other sport for its consistent exhibition of sportsmanship.
Only Finland stands in the way of a guaranteed Gold or Silver medal for the U.S.
If anyone had stated such as a prediction prior to the start of the Olympic tournament, they would be shunned as a moron.
But it is now a fact, and at this point, Team USA is playing with the house's money. Any medal is a huge achievement in a tournament of teams with such deep talent.
Look for the Americans to come out firing on all cylinders to get their offense going against a very stubborn defense, led by Miikka Kiprusoff in net.
The Fins have better talent than the Swiss in all areas, so if the Americans can't find a way to bury some pucks early, it could be a tough game for the Yanks.