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U.S. hockey team shocks host Canada, 5-3

When U.S. Olympic hockey player Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the final period Sunday night, a shot ricocheting off his skate blade into the net, he about jumped out of the arena. This wasn't exactly a miracle on ice, but elements of it had become pretty difficult to believe.

An underdog U.S. Olympic hockey team hadn't merely given a star-laden Canadian team a fight in a roaring, red-decked arena. By night's end, it had left an entire nation bruised.

The Americans claimed their first Olympic victory in men's hockey over Canada in 50 years with a resounding 5-3 victory that featured opportunistic, inspired play by a team described as too young and too rough around the edges to achieve much here.

The victory pushed the United States into the gold-medal discussion, while sending nearly all of Canada reeling at the result. In an Olympics in which Canadian athletes have thus far failed to meet medal expectations, hockey was figured to represent the one sure thing.

This was not an elimination game, but it was an emotional, nationalistic and testosterone-laden one. The winner clinched Group A and got a bye into the quarterfinal round; the loser was expected to get another qualifying game Tuesday.

By Amy Shipley  |  February 21, 2010; 10:20 PM ET
Categories:  Ice hockey , Vancouver 2010  
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