The noisy crowd was silenced enough that you could hear murmurs of “overtime” and “shoot-out.” There had been talk all week about who Canada would meet in the gold medal game. Canada and USA were tied 2-2, and Canada had just failed to score on a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity. Now suddenly, nothing was certain.
In a nail biter of a game between two heated rivals, it was appropriate that the decisive moment came with less than 10 minutes remaining. Both teams had had to contend with 5-on-3 short-handed situations, but it was at even strength that defenseman Jeff Woywitka blasted home a drive past Team USA’s player of the game, goalie Robert Goepfert.
The play developed as Jordin Tootoo continued his ferocious physical play along the boards in the American zone. Gaining control, he got the puck to Matthew Stajan who spotted an open Woywitka moving in from the point. The goal, Woywitka’s second of the tournament, proved to be the winner, and although the game was filled with incredible plays, great saves, devasatating hits, and close calls, it was this play that allowed the crowd to release a hundred decibels of pent-up tension and uninhibited joy.
Canda vs USA decisive moment: Woywitka’s winner from Tootoo and Stajan.