Crosby's goal gives Canada hockey gold

Crosby's goal gives Canada hockey gold

Published Feb. 28, 2010 5:09 p.m. ET

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- This was the best possible way to end the Olympics for Canada.

Sidney Crosby, shut down most of the tournament, wristed a shot past
Ryan Miller 7:40 into overtime after the United States tied it with
24.4 seconds left in regulation, and Canada survived a tense, taut game
to beat the Americans 3-2 in the men's hockey final Sunday. It capped
Canada's record gold rush in the Vancouver Games and set off a national

In one of the greatest games
in Olympic history, Canada's collection of all-stars held off a young,
desperate U.S. team that had beaten it the previous Sunday and, after
staging a furious comeback after falling behind 2-0 on goals by
Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry, almost beat the Canadians again.

With Canada less than a minute away from celebrating the gold medal,
Zach Parise -- the son of a player who figured in Canada's finest
hockey moment -- tied it with Miller off the ice for an extra attacker.


The moment he scored, the groans of disappointed fans probably could be
heard from Vancouver to the Maritimes. But Crosby, scoreless the
previous two games, brought back the cheers with his second
post-regulation game-winner of the tournament by scoring from the left
circle that Miller was helpless to stop. He also beat Switzerland in a
shootout during the round robin.

It was
close. It was nerve-racking. It was a game worthy of an Olympic hockey
final. And, for the Americans, it was a monumental letdown.

Before the game, Crosby received a brief text message from Penguins owner Mario Lemieux that said: "Good luck."

Now, Crosby joins Lemieux -- whose goal beat the Soviet Union in the
1987 World Cup -- and Paul Henderson, who beat the Soviets with a goal
in the 1972 Summit Series, among the instant stars of Canadian hockey.
At age 22, Crosby has won the Stanley Cup and the Olympics in less than
a year's time.

Minutes after the game
ended, delirious fans chanted, "Crosby! Crosby! Crosby!" and IOC
president Jacques Rogge gave a raise-the-roof sign to the fans before
presenting Crosby with his medal.

team worked so unbelievably hard," Crosby said. "Today was really
tough, especially when they got a goal late in regulation. But we came
back and got it in overtime."

To win,
Canada withstood a remarkable and determined effort from a U.S. team
that wasn't supposed to medal in Vancouver, much less roll through the
tournament unbeaten before losing in the first overtime gold medal game
since NHL players began participating in the Olympics in 1998.

Miller, the tournament MVP, was exceptional, and Zach Parise scored a
goal that -- if the U.S. had won -- would rank among the storied
moments in American Olympic history.

less than a half minute remaining and Miller off the ice for an extra
attacker, Patrick Kane took a shot from the high slot that deflected
off Jamie Langenbrunner to Parise, who shot it off Roberto Luongo's
blocker and into the net.

Parise is the son of J.P. Parise, who scored two goals for that 1972 Canada Summit Series team.

Three minutes before Parise scored, Kane -- who also set up Ryan
Kesler's goal in the second period -- knocked the puck off Crosby's
stick on a breakaway that would have sealed it for Canada.

Canada goalie Roberto Luongo didn't outplay Miller, but still proved he
is a big-game goalie -- something he has never been previously -- by
making 34 saves in his own NHL arena. Luongo went 5-0 in the tournament
and 4-0 after replacing Martin Brodeur following America's 5-3 win the
previous Sunday.