Coaching the game of hockey can often be like playing poker, and Canadian Head Coach Marc Habsheid proved on Monday night that he’s not afraid to gamble.
At 11:20 of the second period, Team Finland scored its third goal of the game, and cut the Canadian lead to just one goal, 4-3. It looked as if the Finns had played their cards just right and eliminated Canada’s extra attacker by silencing a crowd that had been deafening. Unfortunately for the Finns, Habscheid called their bluff.
The coach revealed that he had an ace up his sleeve when pulled goaltender David Le Neveu in favour of crowd favourite, Marc-Andre Fleury. Before the puck was even dropped, the capacity crowd was already back into the game, more vocal than they had been earlier.
Team Canada responded to the passionate crowd and went on to win hand-after-hand in the corners and in front of the net. Fleury was flawless for Canada and earned player-of-the-game in the decisive 5-3 win.