Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gold Not Silver

I have written before that in sports there is nothing more exciting than playoff hockey.  I do not watch the NHL during the regular season, but in the playoffs the game just takes my breath away.

I felt similarly today when I watched the Gold medal game between Team USA and Team Canada. With less than four minutes to play Team USA was up 2 goals to 0.  Tip of the hat to our neighbors north of the border as they rallied to tie the contest in regulation, and then win in overtime on a power play goal.

It is probably impossible to overestimate the disappointment of the American women. Since Northeastern has a player on the team, a bunch of us gathered in a room to watch the contest.  It looked for sure as if the USA would win.  The team had practiced for months for this moment and until there were ten minutes left in the game, had outplayed Team Canada.

But they lost.  They did not choke, they lost. Canada came up with some brilliant plays and one bit of stunning good fortune.  Down by one goal and with the goalie pulled, Team USA shot a puck at the empty net which hit the post and instead of banging in, banged out. One inch to the right and the USA has a two goal lead with a minute to play.  When that puck bounced away, I sensed that there was trouble ahead.

Still, the women who worked for months for this moment deserve nothing but praise. They are not losers. They left it all on the ice for over 60 minutes. Someone has to lose this game. It may seem trite, but there were no losers in this one.  Congratulations to both teams, and I hope that no player or coach on Team USA allows this game to define them in any negative way.

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