SOCHI, RUSSIA – Zach Parise parked himself in his usual position in front of the goal, the place he likes to roam on power plays.
A teammate spotted him, executed a perfect pass, and Parise redirected the puck toward the net. It was a textbook power-play scoring chance for Team USA.
Not this time.
Canada goaltender Carey Price made a sliding kick save to thwart Parise’s shot and preserve a 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the Olympic hockey tournament at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
“He made a really nice save,” Parise said. “That’s it.”
The combination of Carey’s stout performance and an inability to capitalize on the power play left Team USA frustrated by its lack of scoring production.
“Price played well,” Parise said. “We couldn’t get one by him.”
Parise finished with a game-high eight shots, including that bang-bang chance on the power play in the second period. Nothing.
Price finished with 31 saves to shut out the highest-scoring team in the Olympic tournament. The United States had scored 20 goals in its first four games.
“If we were to get that result, think about that result and visualize it at the start of the day, we would say mission accomplished,” Price said.
Team USA had the opposite feeling, particularly with its power play. The team went 0-3 with the man advantage.
“When you get three, you expect to score one,” forward Patrick Kane said. “We had a couple of chances. Obviously, we wish that would have been a little better.”
Forward David Backes said he felt his team didn’t handle Canada’s pressure with the right mind-set.
“They came at us with a lot of pressure on the penalty kill and we didn’t really have a great response to that,” Backes said. “We tried to be cute when they’re pressuring us. We’ve got to play harder and really get into a grind game and play a five-on-five almost type mentality when they’re pressuring.
“We didn’t do that, got cute and they sent it down the ice time after time and we had to break it out again.”