Everyone has their favorite hockey game, but what puts a game into the ranks of the 10 most memorable hockey games? Is it the fights, the scoring, the championships or the atmosphere? However you look at it, the top hockey games of all time have a combination of the above and of course some controversy thrown in.
- Do You Believe in Miracles? – Against all odds a team of 20 no-name college players do the unthinkable at the 1980 Winter Olympics. Coached by Herb Brooks, Team USA topped the best team in the world, the Soviet team, en route to the gold medal. Between Mike Eruzione's game-winning goal and Al Michaels' "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" in the final seconds of the game, the Miracle on Ice is arguably the most memorable hockey game of all time.
- Gretzky Says Goodbye – April 15, 1999: After 1,487 games, 894 goals and 2,857 points, "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky skated in his final game as his New York Rangers tied the Ottawa Senators 2-2. He left the league as the all-time leader in numerous statistical categories, becoming perhaps the most memorable hockey player ever to take the ice.
- U.S.A.-Canada, Vancouver 2010 – February 28, 2010: Bringing ice hockey to a level of popularity not seen in decades, the Canadian and American teams battled in one of the most memorable Olympic hockey games ever. The close game, full of action and suspense, reached overtime, with Sidney Crosby besting Ryan Miller to send Canada home with the gold medal.
- Greatest Brawl Ever? – March 5, 2004: Setting a record for the most penalty minutes in an NHL game, the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators completed perhaps the most memorable brawl in NHL history. Five fights, all within the last two minutes of play cleared both benches and kept the officials busy for nearly 90 minutes after the game.
- Crosby Versus Ovechkin – May 4, 2009: En route to their Stanley Cup Championship, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins showed his offensive power as he notched three goals for the hat trick. He was however overshadowed by Alexander Ovechkin who scored three of his own as the Washington Capitals won the game 4-3.
- Brawl in Hockeytown – March 26, 1997: At the height of the bitter rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche, Darren McCarty settled an old score with Claude Lemieux, sending him to the ice in the "turtle" position. Benches cleared and other players joined in on the action, including goaltenders Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy. The nine fights and 144 penalty minutes made this game quite memorable for years to come.
- Boston University Wins the Frozen Four – April 11, 2009: Facing a two-goal deficit with under a minute to play in the championship game of the Frozen Four, Boston University pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker and scored twice to force overtime. The BU Terriers completed what was called the best comeback in NCAA Hockey history by scoring in overtime to steal the championship from the Miami RedHawks.
- Heritage Classic – November 22, 2003: While far from the first big-name hockey game to be staged outdoors, the Heritage Classic featured the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Despite the -22 F degree wind chill, over 57,000 fans made the game a success, leading to the creation of the NHL's Winter Classic, a New Year's Day favorite.
- Canadian Women Bring It Home – February 21, 2002: Following eight-straight losses to Team U.S.A. leading up to the 2002 Olympics, the Canadian women upset the United States 3-2 in the gold medal game. The ladies brought an Olympic hockey gold home to Canada for the first time in 50 years.
- "No Goal" – June 19, 1999: Brett Hull's cup-clinching goal in triple overtime made for perhaps the most controversial and most memorable game in Stanley Cup Finals history. With one skate in the crease, Hull beat Dominik Hasek of the Buffalo Sabres to give Dallas the championship in what is remembered as the "No Goal."
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