Canada 3 USA 5
By David Kurs
Being the only two undefeated teams in the entire round-robin tournament to date, the match between Canada and USA was the match that would decide the gold medal. The Davos Eis Stadion reverberated with the tension that surrounded the night's game to one of the largest crowds seen at the Games. The USA fans made up a vigorous flag-waving contingent. Canada's contingent was a bit smaller, but rivaled that of the USA's in spirit and vigor.
Canada opened with a bang as Fecteau (CAN) scored a hooker into Bobby Boppe's (USA) crease two minutes into the game. USA, in the form of Rick Poppe, answered back with a goal two minutes later. From there, the USA looked back cautiously as Canada trampled on its heels. Fortunately for the USA, they stayed ahead the rest of the game. Within minutes, Jim Sicilano (USA) popped one past goalie Matthew Dlett (CAN).
The Canadians, despite the fact they were equally matched by the Americans 1-1, decisively dominated the second period. Facing a Canadian Red Wave, Boppe endured a gauntlet of steady goal attempts and deflected all but one of them, in part due to the superb defense of Elijah Gold (USA) and Matt Holmes (USA). David Fraser (CAN) scored one early in the second quarter. On a rare American comeback, John Hodgson (USA) popped one between Dlett's legs thirteen minutes into the period to make the score 4-2.
To open the third period, Guirestante (CAN) slipped one into the USA's goal- bringing the score to 4-3. Tensions ran high throughout the period, as Canada surged ferociously towards the USA in their attempt to even the score. Guiresante was kicked out of the game for disorderly conduct amidst all the vigor. But the Americans held fast, and to finish the game, Poppe slammed the clincher goal much to the roar of the Americans. This made the score 5-3, and the Canadians fought vigorously to the end, but could not score any goals.
The Americans now stand undefeated 4-0, and face the third-place Finland team tomorrow night. Canada is almost sure to win the remaining game on the slate- as it will face Sweden in the final event of the Games. Barring an upset by Finland, the Americans seem destined for their second straight gold medal in hockey.
Posted on 12 Mar 1999