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Crosby relives Golden Goal on 10-year anniversary

Center, key figures discuss Canada's OT win against U.S. at Vancouver Olympics

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / Staff Writer

Sidney Crosby said he'll never forget the moment.

Neither will his native Canada, where the heroic effort of the Pittsburgh Penguins center is forever referred to as the Golden Goal.

Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of Crosby's overtime goal that gave Canada a 3-2 victory against the United States in the gold-medal game of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The goal, which came at 7:40 of overtime, stands as one of the most iconic in Canadian hockey history and remains etched in the minds of fans and players alike.

"It's crazy to think it's been a decade already," Crosby said. "But people think about it all the time. I still have people come up to me and tell me where they were when I scored it: at a beach bar while on a vacation, at a cottage, you name it.

"As a kid growing up in Canada, you dream of being on a stage like that. Olympics. On home soil. Overtime. The pressure. The drama. And then, the feeling of: 'We did it!'"

The United States had defeated Canada 5-3 one week earlier in the preliminary round of the Olympics and carried confidence into the rematch on Feb. 28, 2010.

"We knew we could compete against them," United States forward Patrick Kane said.

But the United States did not get off to the start it had hoped for. Goals by Jonathan Toews at 12:50 of the first period and Corey Perry at 7:13 of the second put Canada up 2-0 and had the crowd at Rogers Arena in a frenzy.

Ryan Kesler's goal brought the United States to within 2-1 at 13:44 of the second. Then, with 24.4 seconds left in regulation, Zach Parise tied the game, instantly muzzling the pro-Canada crowd.

"It was so tense, you could hear a pin drop," Canada defenseman Chris Pronger said.

Cue Crosby's dramatics in overtime.

When Canada forward Jerome Iginla corralled the puck along the boards near the left face-off circle, Crosby, calling for a pass, screamed out "Iggy." The pass came. And when Crosby quickly fired the puck under the pad of goalie Ryan Miller, there was euphoria in the arena and throughout the entire country.

"I didn't see it go in," Crosby, a native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, said. "I just heard the screams.

"The feeling is hard to describe."

Ten years later, spoke to various players in that memorable game to help do just that.

Toews: "It's surreal to think it's been a decade already. You know it's special at the time but looking back it's even more incredible. Just the unique experience of being on Canada's Olympic team on home soil and then winning gold, it's pretty much checking off every box."

Patrick Kane, United States forward: "It was tough to come that close. But all these years later, I have to admit it doesn't sting as much because it was one of the most amazing games I've ever been in."

Roberto Luongo, Canada goalie: "Time flies by, right? It's quickly gone by. But it's always fun to see. And you'll see highlights of the game and the overtime, and it still brings me shivers. It's great."

Toews: "I could think of two or three games in my career where I couldn't sleep the night before because I was so nervous. And that would have been one of them. I think every night you felt the energy and the tension because every night the whole downtown area wasn't really going to sleep pretty much. I feel you could hear everything, the whole city partying every night."

Luongo: "It was stressful, but I did enjoy it. It was both. Obviously, pressure-wise it was probably the most I've felt in my career. Olympics. At home. In Vancouver, where I played for the Canucks. The entire country watching. It going down to the end. But it was also the most fun you could have playing hockey."

Kane: "We went into the final minute down 2-1. We thought we'd played a good game. We weren't giving up. And then …"

With the clock clicking down, Kane put the puck toward the Canada net. It hit off the skate of United States forward Jamie Langenbrunner and went right to Parise, who beat Luongo to tie the game.

Kane: "That was part of the magic. The way it kind of all went down. Being down 2-0. Scoring to make it 2-1. Tying it up with less than a minute left to make it 2-2. Just the excitement of that game is something I'll never forget."

Crosby: "We had to turn the page pretty quick. When they score that late, you don't have a lot of time to think about it."

Luongo: "The good thing is, they resurfaced the ice before the start of overtime. We got to go into the locker room and regroup a little bit and mentally get where we needed to be and realize that we were playing for a gold medal in overtime. I think once we got in a few of the guys spoke up like Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger and those guys. So we got our focus back."

Pronger: "It was time to regroup."

At 7:40 of overtime, Crosby, standing to Miller's right, yelled to Iginla to pass him the puck. He did. The rest is history.

Crosby: "Like I said, I never saw it. But the reaction of the crowd ... what a feeling!"

Toews: "I remember just seeing the puck sliding under Miller's pad and then seeing Crosby's reaction. Jumping up and down in the corner, throwing his gloves off. Pretty exciting, ya."

Luongo: "It happened quick. It was like a nothing play and then all of a sudden it was on Sid's stick and off his stick and in. I just remember looking up at the heavens. If you see the overhead my arms are up and I'm looking at the sky probably the whole way down the ice. So felt a lot of happiness but mostly a lot of pressure alleviated off my shoulders because of the circumstances. What a moment. It was great."

Kane: "It hurt because you came so close. You know you were one shot away. But it obviously was an amazing moment for Canada. An amazing moment for Crosby."

Luongo: "That's Sid. That's what great players do. They always seize the moment. He's done it his whole career. It was fitting for him to get that goal at that time. When you look at the best players in history they always find a way to be in the mix when the time is there. That's Sid. He's done it. He's done it for his country. He's done it for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Definitely will be one of the best players of all time."

At the medal ceremony, Kane stood beside Canada defenseman Duncan Keith, his teammate with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Kane: "Dunc and I were looking in the stands while all this was going on. The place was going crazy. What I specifically remember is seeing grown men crying in the stands. That's when you realize how much it meant to these people, to Canada."

Pronger: "It was like the entire country took a collective sigh of relief. It was surreal."

Crosby: "Just so special. Hard to script a more dramatic ending."

Luongo said he never forgets. In fact, he sometimes will bring his gold medal out to bring back the memories.

Luongo: "I do it lot of times when people come over and they haven't seen it. Sometimes I bring it to my kids' school for show and tell. I mean, we were part of history, right?"

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