Like hockey fans throughout North America, former NHL defenseman and Hockey Hall of Fame member Brian Leetch was glued to his television screen when the United States and Canada played for the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It was a game that would stay with him, one that he considers one of the best and most enjoyable moments of hockey that he's seen, even if the U.S. didn't win in the end.
Canada went up 2-0 before the U.S. scored at 12:44 of the second period to cut the lead in half. The score remained that way through the end of the second period and almost all the way through the third. But with 24.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Zach Parise scored on the rebound of Patrick Kane's shot, beating Roberto Luongo to get the U.S. even at 2-2.
The game was headed to overtime.
But Sidney Crosby became the hero at 7:40 of OT by scoring the gold medal-winning goal, ending a game that most didn't really want to see end. That included Leetch, who had won a silver medal playing for the United States at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
For Leetch, who turned 48 on Friday, it was what the game is all about: hockey at its finest.
"To see Parise tie it up and, obviously, Sid won it in overtime," Leetch said. "But to see that great hockey being played, that one sticks out as a fan. I was totally in. I was all in."