We’ve been at this for a while. When we started writing “Filling the Void” pieces, I don’t think we really knew what we were diving into. Within the first couple of weeks, however, we realized the importance of what we were trying to do. In a time during which live sports were canceled, on hold, or whatever you want to call it, we started exploring games, matches, and rounds of the past.
At first, it was all about what full games we could actually find. Then, as the breadth of what the world was facing came further into focus, leagues with strict copyright laws started loosening restrictions and more and more options landed on our list. Now, here we are, over 100 games later and still going strong.
Today: Dominik Hašek, and a Czech Republic Olympic team with few other NHL players, takes on a Russian team filled with All-Stars.
The Czech Republic was not supposed to be in the Gold Medal game at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. The matchup the world had seen many times before (and would continue to see years later) of Canada/Russia was predicted ahead of the tournament’s inaugural puck drop. But one member of the Czech team had other plans.
Dominik Hašek came into the 1998 Olympics in the midst of what would be his second consecutive season of winning the Hart (NHL MVP), Vezina (Best Goalie), Pearson (Most Outstanding Regular Season) Awards. To say that Hašek was one of the best hockey players on the planet would be an understatement. The man was in the top three, and he’s the reason the Czech Republic is in this Gold Medal game.
During the pool play of the tournament, the Russians and Czechs only faced one another once, with Russia taking the game 2-1. The two goals scored on Hašek, both of which came in early in the third period, represent HALF of the goals allowed by the Czech Republic keeper in the entire pool play round.
And having Hašek between the pipes was never more important than in the game that preceded this one. When you need to beat Patrick Roy and Canada in a shootout to play for a Gold Medal, always call Dominik Hašek.
The Russian Team only has one non-NHL player on their roster. The Czech Republic has seven.
So what happens in this Gold Medal game? Dominik Hašek dominates in what is one of the greatest Olympic performances by a hockey goalie.
Seriously. Hašek is standing on his head for 60 minutes. It’s incredible.
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