The United States won a sudden death shootout to beat Russia 3-2 in a dramatic ice hockey match at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Saturday in the latest chapter of one of sports great historic rivalries.
Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals in regulation for the Russians, who were desperate to win in front of a expectant home crowd at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and under the eagle eyes of President Vladimir Putin.
But powerplay goals from Joe Pavelski and Cam Fowler for the Americans, both coming while Russian forward Alexander Radulov was sitting in the penalty box, meant the two sides were tied 2-2 at the end of normal time.
A period of overtime failed to break the deadlock, taking the game into a nail-biting shootout.
St. Louis forward TJ Oshie emerged as the hero for the USA, scoring four times in the shootout and finally getting the winner in the eighth round.
International rules allow the same player to take multiple shots after the first three rounds of a shootout.
Russian goal disallowed
The defeat will hurt badly for Russia who thought they had won the game in the third period when, with the scores still at 2-2 and just five minutes left on the clock, Fedor Tyutin's slapshot from the point beat USA goalie Jonathan Quick.
But referees Marcus Vinnerborg and Brad Meier disallowed the goal apparently because the net had been knocked out of place.
Although the game had little impact on the medal race in Sochi, the finish woke up the echoes of a US-Russia rivalry best known for the “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid in 1980, when a team of American college students stunned the Soviet Olympic team.
The preliminary round victory means the USA have all but wrapped up an automatic berth in the quarterfinals next week. Russia will likely now have to go through a play-off to qualify.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)
Date created : 2014-02-15