Hockey in Canada is a religion. Last night one of the heated rivalries Canada vs Russia played out, with Canada winning 7-3 to advance to the semi-finals.
“They came out like gorillas out of a cage,” Russian backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said.
Prior to 1998 pros were not allowed to compete in the Olympics, unless you were Soviet. They fielded a team consisting of their best. The players were all members of the military and paid to train and compete 24/7. This is how they circumvented the rules.
In 1998 the NHL allowed its players to compete for their respective countries. This leveled the playing field and the Russian monopoly on the Gold Medal ended.
The top two teams in Vancouver are Canada and the USA. It appears likely they will meet in the Gold Medal game later this week. The USA defeated Canada in the preliminary round, but lately Canada have found their game and are playing much better. It should be a classic game with all the ingredients for the best game to date. Stay tuned. Go Canada Go.