today in olympic history feb 24

Today in Olympic History: February 24

Sakic has four points, Head records shutout, and Canada wins golds 50 years apart

Jason La Rose & Jessica Gowans
February 24, 2018

Joe Sakic finished an MVP performance with two goals and two assists, scoring the game-winning goal in the second period to lead Canada to a 5-2 win over the United States and a historic gold medal in Salt Lake City.

The victory ended a 50-year Olympic drought for Canada, which had not stood on top of the podium since the Edmonton Mercurys were golden at the 1952 Games in Oslo.

A showdown of the two most star-studded teams didn’t disappoint, with the Canadians nursing a one-goal lead until the final minutes in front of a capacity crowd of 8,599 at the E Center, and a Canadian-record television audience of 10.3 million (a mark that stood until the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver).

After Tony Amonte opened the scoring for the U.S. just shy of the nine-minute mark, Paul Kariya tied it on a goal best remembered for Mario Lemieux letting the Chris Pronger pass go through his legs to Kariya.

Jarome Iginla shoveled in a centering pass from Sakic to give Canada its first lead late in the first period, but Brian Rafalski got the Americans even on a power play in the second.

Sakic put Canada back up for good with just 98 seconds left in the middle frame, getting his shot through traffic and past Mike Richter for a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Martin Brodeur kept the U.S. off the scoresheet after that, finishing a 31-save performance, and goals from Iginla and Sakic in the last four minutes set off a coast-to-coast-to-coast party unseen for a half-decade.

Few Canadian Olympic rosters are as decorated as the 2002 edition – 12 players are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame (Belfour, Blake, Kariya, Lemieux, Lindros, MacInnis, Niedermayer, Nieuwendyk, Pronger, Sakic, Shanahan, Yzerman) with Brodeur and Iginla likely to follow in the coming years.


1952 – Canada racked up 58 shots, the fourth-most in a game in Canadian Olympic history, in a 3-3 tie with the United States. The single point was enough for the Edmonton Mercurys to secure the gold medal, the fifth for Canada in six Olympics.

1960 – Don Head pitched a 38-save shutout, his second in as many games, and Canada got two goals from Floyd Martin and one each from Darryl Sly and George Samolenko in a 4-0 win over Czechoslovakia.

1988 – Canada couldn’t solve goaltender Sergey Mylnikov, and dropped a 5-0 decision to the Soviet Union to open the medal round in Calgary.

2010 – Ryan Getzlaf, Dan Boyle, Rick Nash and Brenden Morrow scored goals in the first period, and Canada cruised to a 7-3 quarter-final win over Russia. Boyle finished with a goal and two assists, Corey Perry scored twice and 14 players had at least a point for the Canadians, who racked up 21 shots in the first period to take control early.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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