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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ice Time: Olympic Edition (USA vs. Switzerland [Men's])


Finally the men's round of the Olympic tournament began today with the USA facing off against the sleeper pick Swiss team.  Despite the final score of the game, the two teams seemed pretty even matched with a slight edge to the USA. 

In the opening stanzas of the game, the Swiss were bound and determined to make something happen and played as physical of a game as they possibly could.  The score board didn't relect their play because the USA put one on the board by Bobby Ryan to close out the first period.  By the end of the first, you could tell the Swiss were getting worn out.
Five minutes into the second period, David Backes put up the second goal for Team USA.  The Swiss went a man down at about the 8 minute mark on a hooking penalty that proved costly.  Ryan Malone scored a power play goal, making it 3-0.  The Swiss team missed a great opportunity, one of the best of the game, when Sprunger missed a wide open net, shooting over the crossbar.

Switzerland was charging hard in the 3rd period, emptying the tanks of all they had.  They scored their only goal on a powerplay to Ryan Suter for roughing.  It was a strange play that looked like Ryan Miller stopped it but somehow was poked through his legs into the net before the refs blew the play dead.  That was it for their scoring. 

It was actually somewhat of a boring game without much excitement or "razzle dazzle" plays that we have come used to in Olympic hockey.  I will say that the exchange at the end about the merits of pulling a goal tender in the last few minutes was entertaining.  While Doc Emerick and Eddie O were contemplating the extra attacker at the end, Pierre butted in saying that is exactly what you don't want to do, stating the fact that points for and against count in tournament play.  Doc voted to pull Hiller anyway.  Good thing he isn't a coach.

USA wins!! 3-1

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