The Sochi Repot: Team USA Is Eyeing Gold In Hockey At Sochi Olympics


| February 17, 2014 - 5:48 am

Team USA is winning when it comes to hockey at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. The team is 3-0 after its first three games.

Team USA — led by Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma — smoked Slovakia in its first game in Sochi, winning 7-1, but the next match wouldn’t be so easy. Team USA faced Russia, who it has a storied past with when it comes to the Olympics. Rewind to the 1980 Winter Olympics game against Russia — then billed as the Soviet Union — and USA. Amidst leading Cold War tensions, an amateur USA team beat the odds to conquer a nearly undefeated Russian team in the past seven Olympics during the semifinals. The game was dubbed the “Miracle on Ice” and is still considered one of the most incredible moments in sports history. USA won over Finland in the final game to secure gold at that Olympics, but, as the past has proved, the games leading up to the gold medal are sometimes more important than the final matchup. Since, every USA vs. Russia match hasn’t gone unnoticed, but at Sochi, home turf was involved for the Russians, and they left defeated.

St. Louis Blues forward TJ Oshie secured the win for Team USA in a 4-3 shootout on Saturday. Following an intense overtime, with Russian President Vladimir Putin watching, 27-year-old Oshie defied pressure to help Team USA advance into the quarterfinals. Teammate Phil Kessel, a Madison, Wisc. native who plays on the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored three goals in USA’s 5-1 win against Slovenia the next day, to give the team a bye into the quarterfinals.

The USA men’s ice hockey team won silver at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games with a 5-1 record. It lost to Canada, 3-2, in Vancouver. Team USA still has Canada to face in Sochi.