Article written by Ryan Hale - Community Contributor
The Rematch is Here
Well the game that everyone wanted to see is actually going to happen. A rematch of the 2010 gold medal game in Vancouver will take place in Sochi, Russia on Friday at Noon EST. If you live in either Canada or the USA and you don't at least tune in for part of the game then you might as well have your patriotism revoked. This is going to be one hell of a game.
Canada enters the game having dominated Latvia yet only winning 2-1 because of an outstanding goalie performance by Latvian goalie Gudlevskis having stopped 55 shots of the 57 he faced. Canada is going to need a better shooting percentage against the United States if they want to stand a chance at winning.
Players to Watch
Phil Kessel: To put it simply the man is on fire. It's amazing that his teammates don't go up in flames while they are sitting next to each other on the benches. In four games he has 5 goals and 3 assists and has played some fundamentally sound hockey throughout the tournament.
Drew Doughty: As hot as Phil Kessel is Drew isn't very far behind. Through the four games he has played he has 4 goals and 2 assists and had made some pretty key plays for the Canadians so far. Look for him to continue to be one of the anchors of the Canadian offensive attack since Crosby can't seem to get it going.
Both Goalies: With similar stats through the first four games both Carey Price and Jonathan Quick have had solid tournament showings so far. Price hasn't quite had the goal support that we all expected him to have while Quick has probably gotten more than we thought he would. When it comes down to it though, goalies can steal games, just like Latvia almost did today. So, it will be interesting to see if one of these two can step up their game and dominate.
Keys to Victory
Team USA: Keep up the offensive firepower. If the United States can continue to score in bunches then I have a feeling that they will be able to pull this one out. The only really good game Canada has had offensively is against Austria when they won 6-0. Otherwise they haven't scored more than 3 goals in a game and Quick is easily capable of keeping them under that.
Team Canada: Find some offense, but if you can't, then help out Price. I'm sure Canada has been biding their time and waiting to score all their goals against the United States team. However, in case they haven't then they need to play great team defense and allow as few pucks on the net as possible. When pucks do get to the net, then they need to clean up those rebounds quickly. If they don't, this will be USA's game to have.
It's going to be a tough one and how do you choose between two NHL All-Star teams? However, I'm going to have to stick with the prediction I made in my tournament preview and say the USA takes this one 3-2. I will say though, that I almost want to make that prediction be 4-2 after the two games I saw today.
Enjoy the games everyone!
Note, game time and more info can be found at our schedule!