United States

Game Recap

Benn goal pushes Canada to gold-medal game

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

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Benn goal pushes Canada to gold-medal game
Canada 1, United States 0
SOCHI -- If Canada keeps playing with the same electric, stifling pace it put on display against the United States, it might only be one goal away from winning another gold medal.

Good thing too, because the Canadians haven't exactly lit up the scoresheet in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nor have they had to.

Carey Price made 31 saves and Jamie Benn's goal early in the second period was all Canada needed to beat the U.S. 1-0 in the semifinals at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Friday in what was a rematch of the gold-medal game from four years ago. The Canadians once again prevailed by one goal; only this time they didn't need overtime to do it, and there wasn't a medal on the line.

There will be Sunday, when Canada plays Sweden in the gold-medal game (7 a.m. ET, NBC, CBC), a matchup that features the two countries that have won the past three gold medals (Canada in 2002 and 2010, Sweden in 2006).

The U.S. will play Finland for the bronze medal on Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

"You have to line up the moon and stars to win," Canada coach Mike Babcock said. "People don't believe that in Canada, but it's the facts. These teams are great. You have two great teams out there today, unbelievable talent, and the score is 1-0. The goalies are good. The game is tight. It's hard.

"You always feel fortunate when you get an opportunity to advance."

The Canadians earned their opportunity by playing the same style of hockey that got the Americans into the semifinals, only they played it better.

Their forwards were fiercely fast and relentless. Their defensemen always appeared to be in the right position. Canada was able to control the pace of the game and limit the quality chances against Price.

Canada scored one goal Friday and has 14 in five games, yet it will carry a plus-11 goal-differential into the gold-medal game. The Canadians have allowed three goals in the tournament.

"I think we've been good defensively the whole time," Babcock said. "It's hard to get real good players to be committed as our group is defensively, and yet we haven't scored. No one seems to care. It doesn't matter. You just want another opportunity."

On the other side, the Americans came into the game with 19 goals in four games, but they couldn't find any room in the middle of the ice Friday. They seemed to be on their heels for most of the game, trying to survive before Benn scored 1:41 into the second period.

They could never catch up. Canada wouldn't let them.

"They came at us with 20 guys [Friday night]," U.S. coach Dan Bylsma said. "They came at us with speed and for 60 minutes. That was a fast game. That was as fast a game as I think I've ever been a part of. There's lots of speed out there, it was up and down the ice. We weren't able to counter that. We weren't able to match that as much as we'd like."

The U.S. had chances, such as Phil Kessel's shot off the rush 30 seconds into the game, one Price stopped with his pads. John Carlson joined a play late and fired hard shot through a screen 5:25 into the first period, but Price snatched it with his glove.

Max Pacioretty had an opportunity at the left side of the net off a pretty cross-slot pass from Patrick Kane, but Canada defended it well. T.J. Oshie had a shot squeeze through Price only to dribble wide of the net.

But those were the memorable chances, and there were four of them. Worse yet, the Americans drew a blank on the power play, going 0-for-3, including two opportunities in the second period after Benn scored.

"We didn't have any energy," said U.S. defenseman Ryan Suter, who played a game-high 26:11. "We didn't have a forecheck. We weren't very good."

U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick was, but his 36 saves were only good enough to keep the Americans in the game. Benn and Jay Bouwmeester made the one play that made the difference.

It started in the right circle, where Benn used his backhand to thread a diagonal pass up to Bouwmeester, who was at the left point. Benn cut to the net as Bouwmeester wound up. David Backes came out to challenge the shot, only it wasn't a shot; it was a pass that went right to the tape of Benn's stick. The puck ricocheted off his blade and sailed past Quick on the glove side into the net.

"Jay made a great pass -- shot pass -- and I found a way to get my stick on it," Benn said.

With how the game played out, and how good the goaltending was, nobody was surprised it took a deflection goal for one of these teams to reach the gold-medal game.

"There were better chances than the goal for both teams; they didn't go in," Babcock said. "That one went in. I thought our team got momentum at that time, and then forechecked harder and were on top of them more from that point on."

The challenge Sunday against Sweden will be much different. The Americans played a hard, up-and-down, North American game on the big ice; the Swedes will try to use the big ice to spread out the Canadians, much like Finland was able to do against them in the preliminary round.

Canada controlled most of that 2-1 win as well, and had to get an overtime goal from Drew Doughty to win it.

One goal has been the difference in three of Canada's five wins here. If that proves to be the case again Sunday, it will be worth its weight in gold.

"We've had unbelievable opportunities and still haven't finished," Babcock said. "We're going to finish. We just hope we don't run out of time."



CAN 0 1 0 - 1
USA 0 0 0 - 0

First Period
Penalties - Suter USA (holding stick) 10:53, Marleau CAN (holding) 15:58

Second Period
1. CAN, Benn (Bouwmeester) 1:41
Penalties - Getzlaf CAN (high sticking) 3:16, Kunitz CAN (slashing) 15:23

Third Period
Penalties - Kessel USA (hooking) 9:56

CAN 16 12 9 - 37
USA 11 11 9 - 31

Goaltenders (saves-shots against) - CAN: Price (W, 31-31); USA: Quick (L, 36-37).

Power plays (goals-chances) - USA: 0-3; CAN: 0-2

# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
22 J. Benn DAL 6'2" 210 7/18/1989 Victoria, BC
37 P. Bergeron BOS 6'2" 194 7/24/1985 Ancienne-Lorette, QC
77 J. Carter LAK 6'4" 212 1/1/1985 London, ON
87 S. Crosby PIT 5'11" 200 8/7/1987 Cole Harbour, NS
9 M. Duchene COL 5'11" 200 1/16/1991 Haliburton, ON
15 R. Getzlaf ANA 6'4" 221 5/1/1985 Regina, SK
14 C. Kunitz PIT 6'0" 195 9/16/1979 Regina, SK
12 P. Marleau SJS 6'2" 220 9/15/1979 Aneroid, SK
61 R. Nash NYR 6'4" 213 6/16/1984 Brampton, ON
24 C. Perry ANA 6'3" 212 5/16/1985 Peterborough, ON
10 P. Sharp CHI 6'1" 199 12/27/1981 Winnipeg, MB
26 M. St. Louis TBL 5'8" 180 6/18/1975 Laval, QC
20 J. Tavares NYI 6'1" 205 9/20/1990 Mississauga, ON
16 J. Toews CHI 6'2" 208 4/29/1988 Winnipeg, MB
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
19 J. Bouwmeester STL 6'4" 212 9/27/1983 Edmonton, AB
8 D. Doughty LAK 6'1" 213 12/8/1989 London, ON
5 D. Hamhuis VAN 6'1" 209 12/13/1982 Smithers, BC
2 D. Keith CHI 6'1" 200 7/16/1983 Winnpeg, MB
27 A. Pietrangelo STL 6'3" 201 1/18/1990 King City, ON
76 P. Subban MTL 6'0" 217 5/13/1989 Toronto, ON
44 M. Vlasic SJS 6'1" 205 5/30/1987 Montreal, QC
6 S. Weber NSH 6'4" 233 8/14/1985 Sicamous, BC
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 R. Luongo VAN 6'3" 217 4/4/1979 Montreal, QC
31 C. Price MTL 6'3" 212 8/16/1987 Anahim Lake, BC
41 M. Smith PHX 6'4" 215 3/22/1982 Kingston, ON
United States
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
42 D. Backes STL 6'3" 221 5/1/1984 Minneapolis, MN
23 D. Brown LAK 6'0" 212 11/4/1984 Ithaca, NY
24 R. Callahan NYR 5'11" 180 3/21/1985 Rochester, NY
88 P. Kane CHI 5'11" 181 1/19/1988 Buffalo, NY
17 R. Kesler VAN 6'2" 202 8/31/1984 Livonia, MI
81 P. Kessel TOR 6'0" 202 10/2/1987 Madison, WI
74 T.J. Oshie STL 5'11" 189 12/23/1986 Warroad, MN
67 M. Pacioretty MTL 6'2" 219 11/20/1988 New Canaan, CT
9 Z. Parise MIN 5'11" 190 7/28/1984 Minneapolis, MN
8 J. Pavelski SJS 5'11" 190 7/11/1984 Plover, WI
26 P. Stastny COL 6'0" 205 12/27/1985 Quebec City, QC, CAN
12 D. Stepan NYR 6'0" 196 6/18/1990 Hastings, MN
21 J. van Riemsdyk TOR 6'3" 200 5/4/1989 Middletown, NJ
28 B. Wheeler WPG 6'5" 205 8/31/1986 Robbinsdale, MN
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
4 J. Carlson WSH 6'3" 212 1/10/1990 Colonia, NJ
72 J. Faulk CAR 6'0" 215 3/20/1992 South St. Paul, MN
3 C. Fowler ANA 6'1" 196 3/5/1991 Farmington Hills, MI
7 P. Martin PIT 6'1" 200 3/5/1981 Elk River, MN
27 R. McDonagh NYR 6'1" 213 6/13/1989 St. Paul, MN
44 B. Orpik PIT 6'2" 219 9/26/1980 Amherst, NY
22 K. Shattenkirk STL 5'11" 207 1/29/1989 Greenwich, CT
20 R. Suter MIN 6'1" 198 1/21/1985 Madison, WI
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
35 J. Howard DET 6'0" 218 3/26/1984 Syracuse, NY
39 R. Miller BUF 6'2" 175 7/17/1980 East Lansing, MI
32 J. Quick LAK 6'1" 218 1/21/1986 Milford, CT