Blackhawks' Olympic Effort: Day 8
The Olympics are drawing to a close, and so is the men’s hockey tournament. After the Canadian women went on to win gold against the USA yesterday, there were two men’s games today - the semifinals, which were both huge rivalries, and games not to be missed.
The day started with Finland/Sweden, which would decide the first team to compete in the gold medal game on Sunday, just before the closing ceremony. And after a 60 minutes battle, Sweden came out the winner, taking the game 2-1.
Finland would open the scoring, at the beginning of the 2nd period - a goal by Olli Jokinen which was first reviewed as the referee blew the whistle closely after the puck went in, calling it a no-goal at first. The review showed that the puck crossed the line before the whistle, and the goal was allowed, giving Finland the lead.
But it would not last. Five minutes later, Boston Bruins Loui Eriksson would get the puck past Finland’s goaltender Kari Lehtonen, replacing Tuukka Rask in Finland’s crease, as the Boston goaltender battled the flu and was unable to play.
Olli Jokinen would be sent to the box for tripping three minutes later, and Sweden would capitalize on the powerplay, a rocket of a goal scored by defenceman Erik Karlsson.
Finland would chase, with multiple chances throughout the 3rd period, but they would be unable to get a goal to get back into the game, and would end up conceding the game to Sweden. They will play in the bronze medal game on Saturday afternoon.
The second semifinal would pitch Patrick Kane against teammates Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith, as the USA would take on Canada. Another hotly anticipated match-up, in which the first period went scoreless, but with a really fast pace, a tight game from both teams.
Canada would be the first to score, in the 2nd period, a solid goal from Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn, his second of the tournament. After that goal, despite multiple chances on either sides, and a lot of intensity, there would be no more goals in the game. The pace and skills from both teams were stellar, and the game was an intense watch despite the lone goal scored.
Canada will go on to play Sweden in the gold medal game on Sunday. The USA will face Finland tomorrow.