For the Canadian men's hockey team at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, revenge might be a dish best served ice cold.
Canada beat Slovakia 3-2 in Friday night's Olympics hockey playoff semi-final, placing them on a collision course with the U.S. team that beat them last Sunday for this Sunday's Gold Medal Game. Team USA punched their ticket to the gold medal match by overwhelming Finland 6-1 Friday afternoon.
The Canadians have a historic opportunity for to knock back a double-shot of redemption. They get a rematch with the only team that's beaten them, and a chance to win the gold and own the podium in front of their home crowd.
"We want USA!", the Canadian crowd began to roar with nine minutes left in the game, smelling the win and the anticipated rematch.
Then Lubomir Visnosky shut them up quick with Slovakia's first goal of the game. After a furious Slovak rally, Pavol Demitra nearly tied the game in the final seconds.
But the Canadians' front court of NHL players came through strong throughout. San Jose Shark Patrick Marleau drew first blood 14 minutes into the match, scoring from 15 feet away. Not even three minutes later, Chris Pronger of the Philly Flyers gave Canada a 2-0 lead. Anaheim Duck Ryan Getzlaf backhanded in Canada's third goal with three minutes left in the second period.
Even after beating Canada last week, the Americans are and should be considered massive underdogs in this thing. Canada destroyed the Russians, the only other team seen as legit gold medal contenders.
Hockey is Canada's game. Canada has about as many hockey rinks as America has Starbucks. The U.S. beating Canada for the gold medal at hockey would be like Canada beating the U.S. Dream Team for the gold medal at basketball.
That's not even accurate. It would be more like Fresno State beating England for the World Cup. It would certainly validate all the 1980 team "Miracle on Ice" comparisons.
And you can say you saw it. Sunday's United States vs. Canada Gold Medal Game will be broadcast live online and on NBC at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who will make two trips to the corner store for Oreo Cakesters in sports whose games have two halftimes.