Oral history of 2010 gold-medal game

Scott Niedermayer: "I think we felt we were playing well and if we sort of kept up with those things, that there was somebody in that room that was going to find a way to do it. It was a pretty good pit in my stomach, I mean I was on the ice, probably chased out of position to try and get the puck and [Parise] was left alone. But a pit in your stomach for a little while. But again we kept together and didn't let that stop anything that we believed."

Rick Nash: "Yeah, it was a sick feeling in your stomach. You're 26, 27 seconds or whatever it was away from a gold medal, and they tie it up. But I can say I've never been with a more confident group in the dressing room in between periods. We felt that we played great during the game, played well and there were so many captains in there, so many leaders, that just the wave of confidence coming through that room, like we knew we were going to get the gold medal."

Corey Perry: "Your emotions go up and come screaming to a halt and come down. I think we went into the intermission, nothing had to be said. There were so many great leaders in that room that just knew what was at stake. We had the feeling that if we went out and played the way we wanted to play, we were going to win."

Bill McCreary: "What a momentum shift you could feel in the game. As an official seeing it as you do on the ice, the U.S. were starting to take over the game. When [Parise] scores, you could just feel it, just see it and feel it going to the U.S. side."

Paul Stastny: "I was on the bench. I don't even know how much time we had left. It looked like there was 20 guys on the ice. Once that went in, the building got so quiet. The bench was so loud, so excited. We all thought we had it in the bag. You score that late, you have all the momentum."

Mike Eruzione, Team USA, 1980: "One of the local television stations showed up to film. It was really fun watching the kids watch the game. When Zach scored, these kids flipped. And I thought, 'Wow, that must have been what it was like when we played, people watching us.' It was very cool to watch that."

Gary Bettman: "It was like the crowd was almost mesmerized when the U.S. tied up the game."


IN THE LOCKER ROOMS BEFORE OVERTIME

The teams skated to their respective dressing rooms to prepare for sudden-death overtime, which was to be in the NHL format of 4-on-4. As the ice was resurfaced, the players and coaches tried, in some cases desperately, to maintain their focus.

Sidney Crosby: "Obviously, the first minute it's just kind of like, guys are just taking it in. But right away it was just like everyone just kind of snapped out of it. It was pretty energetic. Five, seven minutes before we went back out, it just felt like, 'OK, we're definitely in the right mindset here.' I think the fact that you had guys like Niedermayer and Pronger, I remember Scott Niedermayer just saying little things. It was just like, 'We've got to regroup here and we know what we've got to do, let's make sure we get back after it.'

"I remember Mike Babcock had a really good speech. He said, 'You know as bad as it seems right now, we just made this even better, possibly, so somebody's got a real opportunity here to make it really special.' I kind of remember looking around, everyone just seemed to have a good mindset going into overtime. It really showed."

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