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U.S. leads Canada, 2-1, after first period

February 21, 2010 |  5:26 pm


The crowd for the U.S.-Canada game was electric for all of 41 seconds Sunday, because that's how fast the U.S. scored to take a 1-0 lead. Brian Rafalski's shot, which deflected off the stick of Canada's Sidney Crosby, got past goaltender Martin Brodeur for a quick score. And you could almost see all the enthusiasm drain away from the pro-Canadian fans, who are still loud, but not nearly at the level they were before the game.

Later in the period, Crosby made a nice move around Brooks Orpik but was stopped by U.S. goalie Ryan Miller.

Canada gets on the board near the midway point of the opening period when Eric Staal tips in a shot from Brent Seabrook.

Unbelievably, the U.S. retakes the lead 22 seconds later when Rafalski, yes, him again, takes a shot from the slot that goes under the pad of Brodeur and into the goal to give the U.S. a  2-1 lead in a game that resembles an NHL All-Star game than an Olympic tournament contest with top-four seeding on the line.

The U.S. has dictated the style and pace of play through the first period.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Brian Rafalski, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his first goal. Credit: Larry W. Smith / EPA