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This moment is ours: Team USA looks for redemption from Vancouver heartbreak: XXII Olympic Winter Games

February 14, 2014

While the 2010 Winter Olympics wrapped up in Vancouver, the bitter taste lingered with American hockey hopefuls. With a late, overtime goal by Canada’s Sidney Crosby, the USA Men’s Hockey Team’s bid for gold came up one medal short.

Fast-forward four years; it looks as though the USA Men’s Hockey team will not be in search of a miracle in this Winter Olympics. With a strong line up of all-star NHL players, Team USA travels to Sochi, Russia with high hopes to redeem themselves and a nation.

Led by captain, Zack Parise, of the Minnesota Wild, the US has the ability to match any team line for line. With the addition of Chicago Blackhawks’ forward, Patrick Kane, Team USA will harness its strength and speed against powerhouse Team Canada.

As these Olympics begin, it is fair to say Team USA will only accept gold in, arguably, the most coveted sport in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The last time the USA Men’s Hockey Team won gold was 34 years ago. The year was 1980; Jimmy Carter was President; the Iranian hostage crisis was full blare and today’s college students were a mere twinkle in their parents’ eyes. That year’s Olympics, held in Lake Placid, New York, marked an end to the reign of the Soviet Union Men’s Hockey Team and a 20-year gold medal drought by Team USA. As the young Team USA took to the ice that semifinal round against the Soviet Union, they had little idea what laid in store for them.

While the game remained tied going into the third with ten minutes left, captain, Mike Eruzione, nailed home one of the most memorable goals in sports’ history. With that goal, and a 4-3 win over the Soviet Union, the United States destroyed an era of complete domination by the Soviet Union’s Hockey Team and also blasted a hole through that impenetrable iron curtain. That year Team USA went on to defeat Finland in the gold medal round and return to the top spot in Olympic hockey since 1960.

Much of the same feelings are felt today as the 2014 USA Men’s Hockey Team travels to Russia. No longer on top, the US has its sights set on taking back gold from Team Canada.

This will be no simple task as the skill of Team Canada is over whelming. Lead by Crosby, and a host of Chicago Blackhawks players, defensemen, Duncan Keith and Forwards Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews; Team Canada has depth unmatched by any other Olympic team.

While Team Canada’s skill might not be matched, a team cannot rely on skill alone. The love and determination Team USA shows for the game and their country, simply, cannot be matched. With a hot goaltender, Jonathan Quick, and stamina, Team USA is set to adorn the top spot on this year’s medal stand.

By defeating Slovakia yesterday 7-1, Team USA looks to keep the momentum going as they take on Russia in their second preliminary round game tomorrow morning.

In 2010, Team Canada and a host of Canadian Blackhawk players stole gold from Team USA. This year, it is Team USA and Kane’s turn to wrap themselves in the red, white and blue and bite the most coveted gold medal in all of winter sports.

Mike Olszewski
Graphics Editor

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