Whenever Team USA and Team Canada find themselves on the ice against one another, there is bad blood. The rivalry between the two countries dates back to decades ago and still thrives on with the same passion we’ve seen in past Olympic games. In Friday’s exhibition game before the World Cup Of Hockey, that passion was clearly visible.
There were scrums, ejections, punches, and a lot of drama in Friday night’s outing. Team USA forward Ryan Kesler was ejected for boarding Shea Weber in the third period, Canada‘s Claude Giroux was taken out of the game from a hit by Joe Pavelski with much more dramatic action, which is typical for this type of matchup.
USA’s Zach Parise opened the scoring off of a redirect from Ryan Suter‘s shot with nearly three minutes remaining in the first period. With momentum on their side, Patrick Kane would pick up where he left off last season and doubled the lead for the USA just a minute later giving them a 2-0 lead by catching his rebound from an awkward angle on Carey Price. The period would end 2-0 for Team USA.
Team USA Makes Statement versus Team Canada
The next two periods, however, would be troubling, yet fortunate for the Americans. Canada’s Patrice Bergeron would provide some drama by scoring just halfway through the second period, just as the Canadians were pushing with a 12-1 shot advantage.
With the American’s backs against the wall, Pavelski would replenish USA’s two-goal lead by cleaning up Jack Johnson‘s rebound in front of Price, frustrating the Canadian bench. All of Canada’s hard work was getting shrugged away by the American’s relentless attitude. Team Canada was outshooting Team USA 33 to 16 heading into the third period.
Drew Doughty would attempt to rally Canada closer to a tie, but the team wouldn’t prevail as Derek Stepan gave the American’s the victory with just under two minutes remaining. After all of the chaos, Team USA would prevail.
What Did The American’s Prove In The Exhibition Matchup?
No matter what type of game it is, a matchup between these two powerhouse hockey countries will be loaded with hard-hitting action. Team USA did not want to be pushed around. They battled through 43 shots on goal against Canada and kept their composure throughout the game. Both goaltenders Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick played fantastic in their debuts.
The USA had a blessing facing Price, who was absent throughout a majority of the 2015-16 season due to injury, but that was no excuse. The Americans battled through all kinds of adversity and kept playing against the star-studded squad Canada put on the ice.
Canada outshot USA 43-25 and unloaded seemingly unending trouble towards the American’s net. With resilience and demeanor, they fought hard and silenced critics around the hockey world in their victory.
Team USA proved that Canada has adversity. Canada was favored to win the tourney but has been shown that they cannot take their opponents too lightly if they want to proclaim another World Cup title. It is not going to be easy beating the good ol’ red white and blue.
Outstandingly, both teams will take the ice against each other Saturday night in Ottawa, Ontario. This time, expect more bad blood and a fair amount of penalties. It’s only fitting after Friday night’s passionate altercation between the two countries.
Being exhibition games, both teams see it as if it is the final game of the tournament. Just wait until they play one another in a game that counts in the World Cup Of Hockey.