Russia’s team justified its hopes in the semifinal hockey match during the third period, but this was not enough for a victory: the score was 2:3 in the USA’s favor. Canada and the USA are going to play in the final game; the match for the third place will be played by the teams of Russia and Belarus.
The Russian hockey team did not look like itself during the first two periods of the game. The Russian hockey players basically were defending themselves, and the game was unintelligible. The Americans made 38 hits on Khabibulin’s (the Russian goaltender) goal vs. eleven hits made by Russia. The score was 0:3 at the end of the second period.
Bill Guerin scored the first goal in the 16th minute, and the real game started. Ten seconds passed and the Russians managed to hit off; four minutes passed, and the score was 2:3. The Russian team started the brilliant game with excitement and fast speed, making 19 hits against American’s eleven .
Herb Brooks, the coach of the American Olympic team acknowledged that the first five minutes of the third period were explosive on Russia’s part and the advantage of the American team, both qualitative and quantitative, vanished at once and the game turned into a race. If there were a few minutes more, then the score would probably become even, but this is a game.
Russian coach Vyacheslav Fetisov claimed that the Russian team was deprived of an opportunity to play in the majority: American full-back Chris Chelios was not fined for two minutes for hitting Igor Kravchuk on the head at the end of the second period and for impeding Sergey Samsonov in the third period. “We spent the entire third period in their zone, but gained numerical superiority only once,” – Fetisov said after the match.
We can understand our coach: the competitor was objectively weaker, and Russia’s prestige was at stake. However, only we are to blame for the defeat. Russia’s goaltender Khabibulin did not agree with Fetisov.
It is obvious now that the weak point of the Russian Olympic team was the game in the minority. The Americans scored all the goals of the match when the Russian team was in the minority. The same happened before: three from Belarus and one from Finland. Is it too much for such a good team?
In addition, it became known several hours ago that the Russian Olympic delegation will not leave the Olympics. This decision was made after the long political debate between the representatives of the Russian delegation and the International Olympic Committee.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov