Last night's men's hockey action in Vancouver saw an unexpected upset of star-studded Team Russia and an almost upset of gold-medal favorite Team Canada! The Swiss were laying the body hard against the Canadians in the earlier game and one of their main targets was none other than poster boy Sidney Crosby. Despite having one of most talented groups of players the Olympics has ever seen, the Canadians came this close to falling at the hands of Team Switzerland, courtesy of swift skating, gritty play and an extraordinary performance by Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller with a stellar 44 saves. The Canadians did not take enough shots and Hiller stonewalled many of the quality chances they did have, forcing the game into OT and on to a shootout. With Marty Brodeur in net, the guys in the maple leaf sweaters had the advantage when it came to the shootout. And in a fairy tale ending for the hockey-mad Canadian fans, who else but Prince Charming himself - Sidney Crosby- scored the game winning goal (which was a beauty, have to give him that). HM is sure that Don Cherry probably soiled his Depends at that very moment and when the network panned back to Mike Milbury, I had to mute the t.v. But in good sportsmanship, congrats to Team Canada for the win and to the Swiss for a hard-fought battle. Both of last night's games proved that the run for the medals may be more open than one would have initially thought!
And in the late game, despite back to back appearances, the Slovakian team stormed back to force a shootout against Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia! Slovakian net minder Jaroslav Halak (Montreal) led his team to the stunning win after a seven-round shootout. Halak stopped Ovi twice and also denied Russian snipers Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin, Alexei Morozv and Pavel Datsyuk. Meanwhile hometown boy (Vancouver Canuck) Pavol Demitra netted the game winner for Slovakia, while Marian Hossa came up big for the team in regulation.
A terrific night of hockey and I'm sure that Russia will rebound for a strong outing against the Czech team on Sunday. Last night's results certainly set the stage for an interesting meeting between Team USA and Team Canada Sunday afternoon. Programming note: This highly-anticipated showdown will appear on MSNBC as NBC will be showing ice-dancing during the same time slot. Maybe this isn't the typical woman's response, but REALLY NBC? Nonetheless, HM has a slow kids' hockey schedule (trust me, rarely happens) so I am pumped to cheer on all the big boys this weekend!