BY ROBERT LEVIN
AND JASON FINK
It took a split second Sunday to send a room full of raucous hockey fans screaming and jumping from their seats into a stunned silence as Canada beat the U.S. for the Olympic gold in a roller coaster overtime win that instantly became a moment for the ages.
“I feel really shocked, upset and really surprised,” said Marian Fennessy, 23, of Woodside, a waitress at the Mad Hatter bar in Manhattan, which was packed to capacity. “I could have sworn that the game was going to go on five minutes more and we would have won.”
The nail-biting finale included a thrilling comeback by the underdog Americans from a 2-0 deficit to tie the score with 24 seconds left. But with at 7:40 into overtime, team Canada, a collection of all-stars, won it all with the flick of a wrist from Sidney Crosby, who scored a goal on Ryan Miller, deflating hopes for a stunning upset.
“I am extremely depressed,” said Chris Cook, of Astoria, who said a U.S. victory could have helped revive interest in the sport here. “It would have done a helluva lot to see them win.”
Jeff Walker, 24, of Manhattan, compared the excitement leading up to the game to the “Miracle on Ice” from 1980, when the Americans beat a heavily favored Soviet Union team at the Olympics at Lake Placid.
“My parents got to see the U.S. beat Russia and I would have liked to have seen the big win for us,” he said. “It’s a shame it ended this way.”
As solemn as fans were after the game, when Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils scored the tying goal for the U.S., fans erupted, shouting and breaking into chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
But when Crosby’s shot scooted into the net, the euphoria was sucked out of the room as quickly as it had come in.
“It was very exciting and close,” Amanda Felg, 22, of Manhattan. “It was just tough to see them lose.”