Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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On Golden Ponds: Quick Rises to Occasion Against Russia

By Jim Iovino
|  Saturday, Feb 15, 2014  |  Updated 12:51 PM EDT
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Jonathan Quick #32 of the United States makes a save on a shootout against Pavel Datsyuk #13 of Russia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day eight of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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The puck went in and out of the net so fast that many in the building weren't quite sure what they just saw.

A Fedor Tyutin shot from the left point buzzed past Team USA goaltender Jonathan Quick's left ear and into the net, only to bounce back out just as fast.

Once the mostly pro-Russian crowd realized what they just witnessed, the arena exploded with cheers. It appeared that Team Russia had just scored the go-ahead goal with just under five minutes to go.

"Appeared" was the key word. As Quick turned around to see where the puck went, something else caught his eye. The net was off its mooring ever so slightly.

"After they called it a goal I looked back and saw the net was off a bit," Quick later told NBC's Pierre McGuire. "I didn't know if that happened before or after the puck went in."

Quick pointed it out to the on-ice officials, and they decided to go to a video review. NBC's goal cam showed that when Quick slid right to left earlier in the play, his pad bumped the post out of position.

According to Olympic hockey rules, the goal should not count. It takes a lot of guts for a referee to reverse that call in an arena full of ecstatic Russian fans -- including one named Vladimir Putin -- but he did.

And so the game remained scoreless through regulation. And overtime. It finally took eight rounds of a shootout to decide that Team USA should win.

Many will remember T.J. Oshie's shootout heroics at one end of the ice, but it was no cakewalk for Quick at the other. He had to face three of the game's most feared offensive weapons, and he did more than enough to give the U.S. the win.

Here's how Quick's shootout will go down on the score sheet:

Malkin stopped by Quick
Datsyuk stopped by Quick
Kovalchuk scores low glove side
Kovalchuk stopped by Quick
Datsyuk scores stick side
Kovalchuk scores high glove side
Datsyuk stopped by Quick
Kovalchuk stopped by Quick

Stopping the trio of Malkin, Datsyuk and Kovalchuk five out of eight times? Now that's impressive.
"You have a decent idea of what they're going to do, but they're three of the better players in the world so at the same time you can prepare all you want but they can do almost anything.

Some people believed he shouldn't have even been the starter for Team USA heading into this tournament. But Quick silenced those critics with this performance.

A game doesn't get much more intense than what Quick endured on Saturday. But he handled it like the Stanley Cup-winning netminder that he is.

There's a good chance that Quick won't play in Sunday's game against the upstart Slovenia squad. He said immediately after the game that he wasn't told who would be the starter.  It would make sense to get Ryan Miller a start in the early going just in case he is called upon later in the tourney.

But that shouldn't be an issue as long as Quick continues to play like America's best goaltender. It's a title he's now earned.

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