Niagara Gazette

Sports

February 21, 2014

Canada beats US to reach gold-medal game

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — From faceoff to final buzzer, Canada was in control thanks to Price, Benn and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, whose pass created Benn's goal. All three players weren't on the Canadian team in Vancouver, but they're a win away from earning their own gold medals.

"Obviously we knew it was going to be a tight match going in," Benn said. "We found a way to get one, our team played great team defense, and our goalie shut the door."

The Canadians haven't even trailed in the Sochi Olympics, and they coolly maintained border supremacy on the U.S. by defending their blue line with authority.

Their stifling defense has allowed just three goals in five games, and they clamped down on an American offense that had scored 19 goals in Sochi for every minute of a slightly anti-climactic evening.

"We didn't really create much offense," U.S. forward Patrick Kane said. "It's a little disappointing. ... I think everyone expected a tight-checking game, but to say we would have gotten shut out, I don't think anyone would have thought that."

Jonathan Quick stopped 36 shots in a strong performance for the Americans, who had trailed for just 7:19 in Sochi before Benn's goal put them in a hole they never escaped.

Canada scored early in the second period during a shift by Benn and Anaheim Ducks teammates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Benn got the puck outside to Bouwmeester, who threaded a pass into the slot for Benn's deflection past Quick, whose aggression sometimes makes him vulnerable to such shots.

Benn, the Dallas Stars captain, didn't get an invitation to Canada's summer Olympic orientation camp and was one of the last players added to the roster. But he's had a great tournament and his goal was all the offense needed by Price, the Montreal goalie who easily handled the Americans' few good chances, including their clunky power plays.

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