Oral history of 2010 gold-medal game

"I tell everyone, because I'm not afraid to remind my buddies I played in the Olympics, I tell them the two things I'll never forget there was how silent it was when we beat them in the round-robin. Remember when [Ryan] Kesler scored the best empty-netter of all time? It was dead silent there.

"The other thing was before that [gold-medal] game. It was bonkers."

David Backes: "That locker room was very businesslike. Not a lot of voices in there. I might have been one of the louder voices. Just, 'Hey, you know what? We've been doing it all tournament, we don't have to change much. We beat this team already, let's go out there and do it.' We knew the stage, the viewership, what it meant for us."

Zach Parise: "You couldn't see them, but they were loud. I do remember that. Because we did 20-minute warmups, and I think in the NHL we did 16 minutes. And Canada wanted to keep it more like an NHL game. So we had the ice to ourselves for a little bit and then they came on and the buzz in the building was awesome. The atmosphere in the building was incredible.

"You still had the butterflies through the game. It was one of those rare games that you, just for the first little bit, you don't want to make a mistake. I guess it's like playing a Game 7. I think as you kind of get your feet under you, you're a little bit more comfortable and you just play and your instincts take over."

Brooks Orpik: "I remember it because every other game besides that one we had a ton of support at all the games, but in that one it was pretty red in the crowd there. I think it was in the upper deck they stuck all the Americans. I say all, there weren't many.

"I think it kind of worked in our favor, too. I didn't envy the Canadians' position at all. I mean, everyone's like, 'Oh, yeah, it was a home game,' but they were expected to win, there was so much pressure on them to win. We had such a young group, too, with no Olympic experience, and I think that took a lot of pressure off us."

Ryan Miller: "I took in a bit of it. I like to be aware of my surroundings. I didn't want to have too much tunnel vision going on. My job is to be aware of what's going on around me. So I took in a little bit of it. I just tried to make it into another hockey game."

Ryan Getzlaf, Team Canada: "Part of being able to play at that elite level is going out there and embracing the moment and not getting too wound up. I think that you have to consciously think about calming down and playing the game the right way.

"I remember sitting down after the first shift, getting back to the bench and just sitting down and kind of taking a deep breath and saying, 'We got that one out of the way' kind of thing, and we can go on with the game."

Jamie Langenbrunner: "That first shift was tough. You were a little caught up."

Duncan Keith: "After the first couple shifts, as a team we were prepared, we were focused. As much as we were nervous, there was still that something inside of us that said to ourselves, we weren't going to be denied on our home soil, we were going to find a way, no matter what. As nervous as we were, it turned into that attitude that we weren't going to be denied."


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