Today in Olympic History - February 19

by Wendy Graves

2002 – CANADA 7, FINLAND 3
Thérèse Brisson and Hayley Wickenheiser each scored twice as Canada defeated Finland in the Salt Lake City semifinals.

Brisson opened the scoring six minutes in on the power play, and Wickenheiser built on that momentum two minutes later with a short-handed marker.

The Finns cut the deficit in half with less than a minute to play in the period.

Then things got interesting.

“The second period was probably one of the most frustrating 20 minutes of hockey I’ve ever played,” says Brisson. “We had all the chances in the world and were doing all the right things, but we just couldn’t bury one.”

Canada’s dominance was working against it. With her teammates spending so much time in the offensive zone, goalie Kim St-Pierre was left as a spectator for long stretches at a time. At one point Canada had four straight power plays and still couldn’t find the back of the net. “We really had control the entire game,” says Brisson. “It’s just that second period we weren’t able to bury our chances and the two they had they did.”

During the second intermission the team still felt calm, even though it now trailed 3-2. The same could not be said for everyone in the stands. “We heard later our parents and family were in quite the panic because they didn’t have tickets to the bronze medal game,” laughs Brisson.

The team broke through early in the third, when Wickenheiser notched her second of the game. Six seconds later, Jayna Hefford scored.

Brisson, Vicky Sunohara and Cassie Campbell all scored in the last three minutes to put the game out of reach.

While the closer-than-expected semifinal may have left family a little white-knuckled, it helped prepare the team for its next game against the U.S. “You don’t want to go through a tournament like that with no adversity and then come out and play your biggest rival,” says Brisson. “I think at the end of the day we were glad for it.”

OTHER GAMES

1928 – Dave Trottier scored five times and Hugh Plaxton four times as Canada beat host Switzerland 13-0 to win the gold medal in St. Moritz. Goaltenders Jim Sullivan and Stuffy Mueller didn’t allow a goal during the tournament.

1952 – Billy Gibson scored twice to lead Canada to a 4-1 win over Czechoslovakia. Bruce Dickson and Gordie Robertson also scored, while Ralph Hansch made 21 saves in net.

1960 – Canada – represented by the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen – opened the Squaw Valley Games win a 5-2 win over Sweden. Bob Attersley led the way with a goal and three assists and Fred Etcher scored twice and added an assist.

1984 – Canada outshot Sweden 28-22, but the Swedes scored the only two goals of the game to clinch the bronze medal. It was the Canadians’ third straight shutout loss to close out the tournament.

1994 – Paul Kariya scored just over a minute in to the game, but that was the only goal Canada would get as it fell 3-1 to Slovakia, its first loss in Lillehammer.

2006 – Finland scored twice in the first period and withstood continual pressure in its zone the rest of the way to defeat Canada 2-0, handing the Canadians their second shutout loss in a row.

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