Team U.S.A. Has a Shot, Jonas Hiller Plays a Part

February 23rd, 2010 by Andrew Stover Leave a reply »
Where were you when Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller changed the landscape of the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament?

It’s a serious question. Three days after the U.S. beat Canada in what has been falsely dubbed “Miracle on Ice II,” perspective has been lost in how badly the Hiller-led Swiss altered the field.

Last Thursday, Switzerland took Canada past regulation before bowing out in a shootout. Following extra shooters, the Canadians escaped. Or did they?

In Olympic hockey, a regulation win earns a team three points. A win after regulation only nets it two. Hiller’s 45-save performance and the U.S. upset of Canada worked in melody to disrupt the route of the world hockey powers.

If Canada earned one extra point—whether by beating the Americans or beating the Swiss in regulation—it would have edged Finland in the goal differential tiebreaker and earned the No. 4 seed and a bye to the quarterfinals.

Now? The top two teams—Russia and Canada—will square off in the quarterfinals after Canada beat Germany today. Only one of the two will win a medal, and Hiller is to blame.

&nbs ...

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