"There are 20 guys who are extremely distraught over this," coach Dave King was quoted after Team Canada's final game of the 1984 Olympics. They had just lost by a score of 2-0 to Sweden to be denied a Bronze Medal. King continued,"It was a very difficult game for our young players to play and I didn't think we coped with the pressure as well as we could have."
Goaltender Mario Gosselin said after the game that the team wanted the Bronze Medal too badly,"We tried hard, but we tried in the wrong way. We wanted to win the game in the first minute, we wanted to win as quickly as possible, we wanted too much to win." In truth, they didn't even need a win, a tie would have given the Canadians the Bronze on goal differential.
Canada ended up scoring zero goals in the three final round matches and obviously could have used some more offense. King addressed that, "Certainly when you lose the last three by shutout, you think a player like Mario Lemieux could have made a difference." Unfortunately, King and Lemieux had a conflict of personalities the previous year on the Canadian Junior team. Lemieux received a grudging and belated invitation to the Olympic team camp but turned it down.
When all was said and done, Mario Gosselin was the runaway star of the Olympics for Canada ending up with a 2.21 goals against average. I counted all the boxscores and determined his Save Percentage below.
Canada vs USA
Canada vs Austria
Canada vs Finland
Canada vs Norway
Canada vs Czechoslovakia
Canada vs Soviet Union
Canada vs Sweden
.919 Save Percentage
Within a week, Gosselin had put his Olympic failure behind him as he suited up for his first National Hockey League game on February 26, 1984. Turning aside 26 shots, he shutout the St.Louis Blues in front of a hometown crowd at Quebec City's Colisee. Gosselin said afterwards,"I had a big game against the United States, but this is better. To get a shutout in my first game...you can't start a career any better than that."