Ryan Kessler and Zach Parise
It wasn't quite a miracle, but it was a pretty big upset.
On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, the United States men's hockey teamed stunned Canada 5-3 Sunday to earn a bye to the quarterfinals at the Winter Olympics. The win is the Americans' first over their northern neighbors at the Olympics since the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, when the U.S. eventually won the gold.
Watch Ryan Kesler's game-sealing goal
Playing aggressively from the start, the U.S. grabbed an early lead and held onto it, punctuating the win with a swipe by Ryan Kesler into Canada's empty net with 45 seconds left — a shot that silenced the usually raucous hometown fans.
But no one was more essential than U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller, who made a whopping 42 saves during the game. In contrast, Canada's Martin Brodeur allowed five of the Americans' 23 shots.
See memorable moments from past Winter Olympics
The loss was a demoralizing blow to Canadians, the heavy favorites, playing not just for Olympic gold but national pride since they were on home ice. The U.S. win was another bad break for a Canadian team that was also forced into a shootout against Switzerland last Thursday. Falling to the U.S. means Canada must now play an extra qualification game against Germany Tuesday in hopes of advancing.
On the slopes, Bode Miller, already the most decorated U.S. alpine skier, added gold to his Vancouver haul by winning the super-combined. The resurgent Miller, who went 0-for-5 in Torino, has already won bronze in the downhill and silver in the Super-G to go with his two silvers from Salt Lake City. He has two more races left.
Watch Bode Miller win the super-combined
Other winners included Ireen Wust of The Netherlands in the women's 1,500-meter long track, Magdalena Neuner of Germany in the women's 12.5-km mass start, Michael Schmid of Switzerland in the debut of men's ski cross, Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia in the men's 15-km mass start, and Germany's Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske in the two-man bobsled.