With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver a mere 172 days away, I wanted to take a quick look at how hockey figures into the equation when examining Canada's numbers. This has nothing to do with the 46 players at the Olympic orientation camp in Calgary, nothing to do with rivalries and who-beat-who, and nothing to do with who has the best chance to win. Instead, this is simply an overview of a few important numbers that will involve hockey at the 2010 Olympic Games. There will be an American reference, a few Russian references, and the inclusion of some European countries in this, so you can't even say that this is pro-Canadian. But it will talk about Canada. Because that's how I roll.
Here are your numbers:
- 4 - Most medals won by one person in the ice hockey event. Vladislav Tretiak of the USSR has three gold medals and one silver medal to his name, while Jiri Holik has won two silver medals and two bronze medals.
- 7 - Canada's all-time rank for medals at Winter Olympic Games. Canada has won 119 medals all-time. Ahead of them, in order, are Norway, USA, USSR/Russia, Austria, Germany, and Finland.
- 7 - Canada has won seven gold medals in men's hockey since it was first played in 1920 in Antwerp at the Olympic Games. This is second all-time to USSR/Russia.
- 13 - Most goals scored in one game by one individual. Canadian Harry Watson set the mark twice in the same Olympic Games! In 1924 in Chamonix, France, Watson scored 13 against Switzerland before scoring 13 more against Czechoslovakia.
- 22 - This isn't a number per se, but a date. February 22, 2010 will mark the 30th anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice" when Team USA defeated the heavily-favored Soviet Union in the men's hockey semi-finals.
- 29 - This is the number of goals scored by the Canadian hockey team in the 1920 Antwerp Summer Olympic Games in winning the gold medal. This was the first time hockey was played. In winning the gold medal, they only gave up one goal.
- 31 - The number of saves made in the 2002 Winter Olympic men's gold medal game by Canada's Martin Brodeur. Brodeur faced 33 shots in leading Canada to their first gold medal in 50 years with their 5-2 win over the United States.
- 33 - The largest margin of victory in any hockey competition at the Olympic Games. Canada defeated Switzerland by a 33-0 score in 1924.
- 53 - The number of wins posted by the USSR between 1956 and 1988 in men's hockey. During this time, the Soviet Union posted a record of 53-5-2 - an amazing .883 winning percentage - and collected seven gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. Just to reinforce how dominant they were, they scored 411 goals-for compared to 111 goals-against.
The spring will be great for hockey talk!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!