After finishing the second round of games with a shootout loss to Team Finland, the standings were set for the medal round of the tournament. Even though we lost, we still picked up a point in the game which meant we clinched first place in our division. Now is when the real tournament begins as each game is a single elimination format, do or die, win or go home.
We now crossed over to the other pool to play our quarter-final game against Latvia. Although not known for being a power house team, they played a very aggressive hard-working style to get to this point of the tournament, so we defiantly didn't take them lightly. Although we had that mind set, we still opened the game very slow and it was 0-0 after the first period. We knew we had to step up our game and we did just that. Give the Latvians credit, they made a game out of it with the final score 4-2 in our favor. Once again our special teams came through and we were off to the semi-finals. I was able to chip in with a goal and an assist.
Now only four teams remained in the tournament: Canada, Russia, USA and Sweden. All four of the remaining teams are very capable of winning, especially in a one-game series. We played the late night game against the Swedes, so we were able to catch Russia sneak by the Americans, 3-2, in a very tight affair. We now knew that the Russians would be playing for the Gold. We had to focus on our game against a very talented Swedish team. The key for us was to come out flying and grab an early lead, and we did just that. My new line with Marty and Derek Roy got us a 1-0 lead midway through the first period and we never looked back. We played a solid Canadian style game and won 3-1 to earn a berth into the Gold Medal Game against the Russians. Marty and I chipped in with an assist each on Roy's first goal.
The rematch from last year’s gold medal game is set, and all the guys on my team who were there last year know what it felt like to lose, and they are making sure it doesn't happen again. Every player is very excited about this opportunity and we are going to play our best game of the tournament in order to bring back the Gold Medal to Canada.
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