News

Canada, U.S. primed for Olympic grudge match

Canada, U.S. primed for Olympic grudge match

GOING FOR THE GOLD: GOING FOR THE GOLD: USA defenseman Ryan Suter celebrates Team USA's 5-2 win over the Czech Republic with goaltender Jonathan Quick after the men's quarterfinal hockey game in Shayba Arena at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP USA defenseman Ryan Suter celebrates Team USA's 5-2 win over the Czech Republic with goaltender Jonathan Quick after the men's quarterfinal hockey game in Shayba Arena at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Associated Press

By Steve Keating

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Canada and the United States were preparing to take centre stage at the Sochi Winter Games in a mouth-watering men’s ice hockey grudge match on Friday with the winners earning a shot at Olympic gold.

Thousands of miles and nine times zones away, hockey-mad Canadians – still buzzing from a stunning 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the women’s final on Thursday – were waking up to another day of compelling action on the ice.

“You don’t give in, you do not give in,” Canada coach Mike Babcock told reporters following a pre-game skate when asked if his team would take anything from the women’s comeback victory over the Americans.

SPECIAL SECTION: 2014 Olympics

“You just keep on keeping on,” he said. “Is it going to go your way every time? No, but you choose your attitude, how hard you are going to perform and you dig in.

“I am pumped.”

And so is the entire country.

Businesses across the Great White North are expected to empty and bars will fill to capacity as millions of hockey fans tune in to watch the first meeting between the North American rivals since Canada claimed the Olympic title four years ago in Vancouver with a golden goal from Sidney Crosby.

The stakes will be nearly as high on Friday at the futuristic Bolshoy Ice Dome with the winners advancing to Sunday’s final against Finland or Sweden, who face off in the other semi.

Both teams enter the do-or-die contest unbeaten but arrived in the final four in contrasting fashions, the Americans blasting to a comfortable 5-2 win over the Czech Republic and Canada surviving a scare from tiny Latvia before edging through 2-1.

Canada and the United States have clashed 17 times on Olympic ice with Canada winning 11.

When the Americans beat Canada 5-3 in the preliminary round at the Vancouver Games it marked their first Olympic victory over their northern neighbors in 50 years.

The United States are led by the tournament’s leading scorer Phil Kessel, who has five goals and three assists in four games, while Canada have leaned heavily on a defense anchored by Drew Doughty and Shea Weber.

Canada are trying to win their first Olympic gold medal outside North America in 62 years and become the first country since the 1988 Soviets to defend their crown.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Daughter reveals Joan Rivers is still on life support

Comedian Joan Rivers arrives for the premiere of the documentary "Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work" during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 25, 2010.

Comedian Joan Rivers remains on life support after being hospitalized in serious condition due to cardiac arrest.

in Music

Marty Raybon rejoins Shenandoah

Marty Raybon rides in the CMA Festival Kick-Off Parade in Nashville, Wednesday, June 9, 2010.

Marty Raybon has reunited with Shenandoah, the band he co-founded in 1984 and fronted for 13 years.

in Entertainment

Angelina Jolie debuts wedding dress featuring kids’ artwork

The cover of People magazine, dated 15th September, 2014, featuring the wedding of Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt.

Angelina Jolie has debuted photos of her surprise nuptials to Brad Pitt, revealing she wore a designer wedding gown featuring artwork by their six children.

in Entertainment, Lifestyle

Kirsten Dunst criticizes Apple over naked photo leak

Kirsten Dunst arrives at the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kirsten Dunst was among a number of celebrities targeted by a hacker who published explicit personal pictures on the Internet.

in Entertainment, Sports

Carrie Underwood expecting her first child

underwood

Singer Carrie Underwood and her pro hockey player husband Mike Fisher are expecting their first child.