It was only a hockey game. Not much more than an exhibition, with both teams moving on in the tournament. But on a global scale, the USA's surprising 5-3 hockey victory over Canada is much more than all that: it is a condemnation of the Canadian way of life and a notice that the United States will not stand by and let its neighbor to the north run roughshod over the world.
With millions of Americans watching the game live on struggling financial network MSNBC, the U.S. jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and hung on to win despite being outshot 45-23, withstanding a furious late-game rush by the desperate Canadians. The win gave hope to the American people that the United States in the throes of a crisis of confidence can one day defeat the Canadians, be it economically, militarily or athletically. It also showed the world that the U.S. can defeat the hated Canucks.
In fact, the win seemed to have made more of an immediate impact than the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" victory over the Soviet Union. While it took 11 more years for the Soviet empire to fall, this morning Canada has no troops massed along the border and only maintains hold over three relatively useless and uninhabited territories: the Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.
The U.S. team clearly understood the significance of the victory, and their role in putting perhaps the first nail in the coffin of the Canadian empire.
"It's just a game, it really is. It gets us a bye," said U.S. wing Bobby Ryan. "It gets us a couple days of rest, a couple of days of practice together, but other than that, I don't think people should read too much into it. We could see these guys again and it could be for a medal."
"I still think we've got a long way to go," said head coach Ron Wilson. "There are some great teams out there."
And so the Canadian menace fell.
Pic from Yahoo! Sports