USA Finishes Finland, Earns Gold Medal Match

By Joe Kukura
|  Friday, Feb 26, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 PM PDT
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The U.S. Men's Hockey Team defeated Finland 6-1.

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 This U.S. men's Olympics hockey team may have another miracle up their sleeves.

The U.S. team flat-out demolished Finland 6-1 Friday afternoon, earning themselves a trip to the gold medal match Sunday at 12:15 p.m. PST. They'll face the winner of Friday night's Canada vs. Slovakia playoff match up.

The Americans wrapped this thing up In the first period, when one could barely slip out for a quick pee without missing the red, white and blue score yet another goal. It was 6-0 not even 11 minutes into the match. At one point the Yanks scored two goals within 15 seconds.

If you were playing a drinking game where you took a shot whenever the United States scored, right now you are probably hospitalized for alcohol poisoning.

For the Americans, those were the most glorious 11 minutes of Olympics hockey since Al Michaels screamed “Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!” back at Lake Placid in 1980. The mayhem started two minutes and four seconds into the match, when Finnish goalie Miikka Kiprusoff foolishly abandoned the goal and let “The Other Ryan” Malone score easy on an empty net.

Zach Parise scored his third goal of these Olympics not four minutes later. Then St. Louis Blue Erik Johnson got his first-ever Olympics goal 90 seconds after that. Another 90 seconds later, another goal from Patrick Kane made it 4-0, and the celebrated Finn goalkeeper Kiprusoff actually took himself out of the game, without even being advised to do so by his coach.

And then his replacement Niklas Backstrom gave up two more goals in a 15 second span.

On the other end, U.S. goalie Ryan Miller was once again just scintillating. He was perfect through nearly 50 minutes of regulation play, with the Finns’ only goal coming against backup goalie Tim Thomas.

Ryan Miller now has an astonishing 112-minute scoreless streak of goalkeeping going in these Olympics.

The crowd was not exactly going nuts. About 95% of them were wearing Team Canada jerseys. You pretty much figure they were just there to hold their seats for the Canada vs. Slovakia match tonight.

Retired San Jose Shark Jeremy Roenick was amped over the possible U.S.A.-Canada rematch for the gold medal. "They’re so excited right now, because in international hockey there is no greater rival than Canada," Roenick told Al Michaels on the NBC post-game broadcast. “Everybody should show up to watch this game Sunday.”

And when Al Michaels is on hand, that’s when miracles happen for the U.S. hockey team.

The gold medal game will be broadcast live on line and on NBC at 12:15 p.m. PST.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who just today swore off ever again taking pee breaks during regulation hockey play.

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