In the end, he was but one save better than his American counterpart, but in a finger nail biting climax to a typical Canada/USA contest, Carey Price would be the name to remember.
Price actually did his best work before the dreaded shoot out conclusion to Wednesday’s World Junior Hockey Championship semi final, holding down the Canadian fort as the US team on a power play tried desperately to end Canada’s dreams of another shot at gold.
Price stopped 34 of 35 shots prior to the shoot out, including a wild two minutes of hockey with the aforementioned American power play peppering him with 12 shots. His amazing stand seemed to give new life to his Canadian team mates, leading into the shootout which saw Jonathon Toews score the winner against the US net minder Jeff Frazee in the seventh round of the shoot out.
For Frazee it was an unfair ending to a remarkable run at these games, originally relegated to the bench at the start of the competition, Frazee took over after the US stumbled in the early games, bringing his team back into contention with three strong performances prior to Wednesday’s showdown with Canada.
In the semi final he was again amazing, keeping Canada off the score board until the third period when Luc Bourdon’s shot somehow managed to find its way past Frazee. From then on it was back to the stonewalling act until the wild finish.
Both Price and Frazee did as well as a goaltender could do in a shoot out situation, with Prince making that one big save that secured the win for Canada and spelled disappointment for the USA.
While Toews is the hero for the goal, it was Price in the goal that was the story for Canada. Without his solid play through three periods, overtime and a shoot out this ending could have been very different for Canada.
Price secured the victory, setting up another Gold Medal showdown with the Russians. A highly anticipated event in hockey circles that could very well provide as many memorable moments as Wednesday’s semi final did.