Cincinnati Connection To Canadian Hockey Gold

A Cincinnati and Ohio Connection
in Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Game

 

2010 Gold Medal Men's Hockey Champions Have Local Ties


Despite the heartbreak of an overtime loss by Team USA to Canada in the men's Olympic hockey game on Sunday in Vancouver, there were several local ties to one of the greatest hockey games in Olympic history.

 

 


Team Canada's head coach was Mike Babcock, who spent two seasons as the head coach for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League from 2000-2002. At the time, it was the first professional head coaching position for Babcock, who had previously coached at the college and junior hockey levels. During Babcock's two seasons as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks bench boss, he guided the team to a 74-59-20-7 record and playoff appearances in both seasons. In the 2000-2001 season, Babcock led the team to a 41-26-9-4 record, which at the time, was the most single season wins, in franchise history.

 

After two seasons in Cincinnati, Babcock was promoted to head coach of the parent club Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. In his first season as an NHL head coach, Babcock guided Anaheim to the finals of the Stanley Cup, before losing in seven games to the New Jersey Devils. In 2005, Babcock left Anaheim after two seasons, to become head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and during the 2007-2008 season, Babcock reached the pinnacle of the coaching mountain, as the Red Wings captured the Stanley Cup Championship in six games, over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Following the 3-2 overtime win over Team USA, Babcock can now add a gold medal to his coaching resume, along with Stanley Cup winning coach.

 

Two players for the gold medal winning Team Canada, also spent time as players for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. Current teammates with the Anaheim Ducks in the National Hockey League, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry began their professional careers playing at the Cincinnati Gardens for the AHL Mighty Ducks. Getzlaf was a first round selection of Anaheim in the 2003 NHL entry draft. His time in Cincinnati lasted just 10 games, all during the 2005 AHL playoffs. Getzlaf was added to the Cincinnati roster after his playing days with his junior hockey team in Canada came to an end. In those ten games, Getzlaf tallied one goal and five assists. During the 2010 Olympics, Getzlaf finished with 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points.

 

Corey Perry also played briefly for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and only for three post season games. And like Getzlaf, Perry also has the superstar potential attached to his resume. While in Cincinnati during the 2004 AHL playoffs, Perry had one goal and one assist. During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Perry, who was a line mate with Getzlaf for Team Canada, tallied 4 goals and 1 assist. In addition to the 2010 Gold Medal, both Getzlaf and Perry were part of the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks

 

Team Canada also has two other Ohio connections on their gold medal winning team. Defensemen Dan Boyle was a two-time college All-American who played collegiately for Miami University from 1994-1998. Boyle still ranks ninth all-time in scoring at Miami University, with 147 points (40g, 107a) in 148 games. In the 2010 Olympics, Boyle, who plays for the NHL's San Jose Sharks, collected 1 goal and 5 assists for Team Canada. Rick Nash currently stars for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL. Nash collected 2 goals and 3 assists during the 2010 Olympics for gold medal winning Canada.

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