Well, at least the better team won, and without controversy. Canada took down the United States on Friday to advance to Sunday's gold medal game. The final score of 1-0 was misleading, as Canada took the action to the United States and got the better of the scoring chances all game long. If there's a bright side for American fans, though, it's that Jonathan Quick validated Dan Bylsma's goaltending decision, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Phil Kessel got one of the best chances of the game for the Americans less than 30 seconds in. Kessel got few opportunities to be as dangerous as he's been all tournament, but soon after the opening draw, Kessel sped down the wing, blew past Duncan Keith, and got a shot on net which was stopped by Carey Price. Max Pacioretty actually did the same thing to Keith a couple shifts later, but obviously, it didn't do any damage. The first ten minutes were bright for the US, but for the last ten minutes, they saw very little action in the offensive end.
Meanwhile, Canada had its chances at the other end. Our own Drew Doughty caused a little trouble himself, dangling a defender and getting off a shot which was turned aside by Jonathan Quick. This was right after Dustin Brown forced Doughty out of the zone, and right before Jeff Carter fired a few shots on Quick. So the Kings were in the thick of things early. Brown faded after the first few minutes, but Carter and Doughty stayed involved, and so did Quick. Not that he had a choice, facing 16 shots in the first period alone.
1:41 into the second period, Canada finally got their goal. Jay Bouwmeester looked to take a shot from the point, but instead made a perfect shot-pass into the slot. Quick, as per usual, was pretty far out of the crease to play the angle, and he had the angle right. But when Jamie Benn got his stick on the puck to redirect it towards the net, Quick didn't have a chance. The play was preceded by a turnover by Brooks Orpik, who became the general scapegoat for USA fans today. (Should've taken Alec Martinez, duh.) Orpik spent most of the game trapped in his zone against Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz; thankfully, Kunitz missed numerous chances and became Canada's corresponding scapegoat. Quick stopped everything else that was on net.
The best chances in the latter half were essentially all for Canada, as Carey Price had some tough stops in the first and otherwise was always in position to stop the US shooters. The defensive performance from Canada, especially in the third, was excellent. Doughty was his usual all-world self, making things happen on offense and letting nothing by him on defense. Carter played on the PK unit for Canada as well, and was out protecting the lead in the final minutes. They fully earned the bragging rights they're going to have when they get back to Los Angeles, while Brown (who was out on the ice for Benn's goal but couldn't really be blamed much) has to settle for an attempt at bronze. Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter play for gold against Sweden on Sunday.