I'll remember Sidney Crosby's goal. And I'll remember Ryan Miller's tears.
Canada won an overtime thriller that lived up to last week's classic -- and then some -- because Sidney Crosby took a pass from Jarome Iginla and snuck a wrist shot past Miller. Crosby is hockey's Chosen One, and today, he became Canada's hero.
But it was Miller who was named the tournament MVP, Miller who turned away shot after shot, Miller who limited the potent Canadians to two goals as the Americans battled back, eventually allowing his team to throw an extra attacker onto the ice and gun for a tying goal. That decision would produce Zach Parise's dramatic equalizer with less than half a minute left.
Crosby should drape himself in the glory of Olympic gold, as should every Canadian. His team, the one expected to win everything, played exquisite hockey, fighting from first faceoff to last horn, living up to expectations and fulfilling Canada's fervent hope for the gold they wanted most. Tears of joy will roll in Vancouver, and all over Canada, tonight.
South of the border, tears of frustration may fall. The Americans, especially Miller, nearly matched the more talented Canadians. facing deficits for the first time in this Olympics, the U.S. rallied back in dramatic fashion, and nearly delivered the gold most American fans had dreamed of for no more than a week.
This was one to remember for all involved, for rarity as well as brilliance. The NHL returns tomorrow, but won't be as good without this concentration of talent on one rink or the nearly peerless, commercial-light presentation. And the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, may not have NHL players. Anything else? Good luck finding it on a triple-digit cable channel.
This game was great and unique, as tremendous as the first matchup last week. I doubt I will see another game with the home country beating its neighbor and winning on a goal by the nation's favorite son, much less one this well-played.
That's why I'll remember this one for as long as I can, remember the passion, emotion, and beauty of those athletes on that ice. I'll remember Crosby's happiness and Miller's valor, and I'll remember the tears of joy and sorrow on either side.
Sports, occasionally, have the power to sear memories into history. This was one of those occasions.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.