Sidney Crosby, Canada's premier hockey player, put a dagger through the hearts of hockey and Olympic fans south of the 49th parallel border with seven minutes and 40 seconds gone in a sudden death overtime gold medal thriller. Crosby, a NHL legend in only his fourth year, caught the puck to the left of the net, turned, and flipped it by United State's goalie, Ryan Miller, without looking at the net.
The talented Canadian squad seemed to be verging on cruise control after a two goal lead in the first period. A bristling American team fought back with aggressive defense and brilliant goaltending by Miller, the Olympic player of the tournament.
With the noise level from a raucous crowd in Vancouver crescendoing in the final minutes of regulation, Canada still led 2-1. The Americans emptied their net to apply additional offensive pressure. Zach Parise whipped a rebounding puck in front of the Canadian goal and scored the tying goal with 25 seconds left in regulation.
Canadian hearts suddenly had to come to grips with the possible loss of the gold medal to their neighbors. The US was out-skating the Canadians with Miller turning back every one of the attempts on goal. Miller had shut down the Canadians for 40 minutes.
The North Americans dominated this world tournament. America entered the gold medal game undefeated with Canada's only loss to the USA.
With the chorus of 'O, Canada' came cheers, tears and a country proud of its hockey tradition and two weeks of hosting Olympic history. The hockey gold—perhaps its sweetest—made it fourteen golds for Canada, tying an Olympic record.