February 21, 2014 Updated: February 21, 2014 at 7:44 am
SOCHI, RUSSIA – Zach Parise never found the time or inspiration, or maybe even the need, to watch the 2010 Olympic gold medal game. He still carried those memories in his mind and soul.
But there it was, suddenly on his TV screen, and the emotions rushed back like a cresting wave. Lounging at home one day in January as he recovered from a foot injury that forced him to miss 14 games for the Wild, Parise started channel surfing until he came across a replay of the U.S.-Canada championship classic in Vancouver.
He swears that, in the four years since, he’d never even seen parts of that game. He started watching it in the second period that day. His goose bumps arrived shortly thereafter.
Parise remembered the euphoria he felt after scoring a game-tying goal with just 24.4 seconds left in regulation. He recalled the surge of excitement inside Team USA’s locker room during intermission before overtime, the belief that they had a chance to win gold on Canada’s turf.
And, of course, he relived the heartbreak that came when Sidney Crosby became a certified national treasure with his overtime goal that delivered a gold medal to Canada.