Olympic moments are often comprised of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, opposite ends of the spectrum condensed into two weeks of the world’s greatest athletes competing against one another.
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler took that wild ride this year during his first Olympic appearance for the USA. Fowler entered the competition amidst a hot season with the No. 1 team in the NHL. His golden Sochi moment may not have come in the form of a medal, but it did come when he opened the scoring against Russia in a game that would end as a sure-to-be classic win for the red, white and blue.
T.J. Oshie‘s shootout extravaganza might still have American hockey fan’s hearts a flutter, but it was Fowler’s front-of-the-net drive past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky that started the train — a tough feat considering Bobrovsky resembles a brick wall in net more often than not.
Six days later came the opposite end of the spectrum as Fowler experienced the crushing defeat Olympic competition also brings as his team’s gold medal hopes were shut out by Canada, made even worse a day later by Finland defeating the Americans 5-0 to snatch the bronze. Considering where the USA started in the competition (leading in goal scoring, with multiple players contributing), the end was shocking; a heartbreaking finish to a fairytale start.
But tough endings do not a failure make. Yes, USA did not make the podium in Sochi, but Fowler returns to the Ducks this week with an impressive Olympic debut behind him. At just 22-years old, he was able to convert his impressive two-way game from NHL ice to that of the world’s biggest rink. Fowler’s attention to detail, the ability to see the play before it happens and attack combined with legs that skate like a rocket make him a force in this league; they made him a force for the world, too.
No, Fowler may not have won gold this time around, but the raw talent he has shown through his four short years in the NHL makes him one of the most exciting defenseman to watch night in and night out. His powerful play in Sochi almost guarantees that Cam America will be back again.