VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Zach Parise had his Olympic moment, although it didn't last long.
He knocked home a loose puck from just in front of the net with 24.4 seconds in regulation that brought the U.S. hockey team jubilation and a reprieve.
It forced overtime, but not victory.
"I think we felt like we deserved to be in that position," U.S. goalie Ryan Miller said. "It was going to be a way for this team to win. With so much energy coming from Canada's side, it was going to be in that fashion. It came out really close."
The Americans, however, couldn't take this wild ride any further in trying to win the country's first gold medal in men's hockey since the Miracle on Ice in 1980.
Sidney Crosby had something to say about that. His goal 7:40 into the extra session gave Canada a 3-2 victory and the gold.
"It's tough to put into words. We're pretty disappointed right now," Parise said. "We were confident going into it that being an important game going into overtime that we were going to win. It just didn't happen."
The United States was a team few expected to even reach the podium. And who could have imagined at the start that a silver medal would turn out to be a disappointment for the Americans.
"I think we proved a lot of people wrong," forward Patrick Kane said. "People probably picked us fourth or fifth and we finished second."
The final push for the tying goal worked as perfectly as everything else in the past two weeks for the Americans, who left Vancouver with a 5-1 record. Kane's shot hit U.S. captain Jamie Langenbrunner in front and barely touched the pads of Canada goalie Roberto Luongo.
Parise has developed quite a nose for the net in his brief NHL career, and he has repeatedly shown pinpoint precision from in close. He did again when the puck found him and he fired it behind Luongo to tie it 2-2.
He darted to the corner and leaped into the glass in front of the stunned Canadian fans poised to celebrate the gold. Parise's teammates mobbed him, but they couldn't finish off the comeback in overtime.
"We battled hard," said Langenbrunner, Parise's teammate with the New Jersey Devils.
Parise, a 25-year-old forward, finished his first Olympics appearance with four goals in six games. He earned is spot on the team for his scoring prowess that produced 45 NHL goals last season and 28 more this season in 60 games.
Parise is also considered an emerging leader. He earned an 'A' on his Devils sweater as an alternate captain for the first time this season, and served a similar role for the U.S. in the Olympics.
"Scoring a goal with 20-something seconds left shows the character in this room," Langenbrunner said. "The guys had a never-give-up attitude. What can you do?"