USA, Canada Advance In Sochi

On Wednesday, the field was cut to four in Sochi. And on Friday morning, the United States will face Canada with a shot at the gold medal on the line.

Canada

Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp made an impact on Canada’s 2-1 win over upstart Latvia. Sharp scored the first goal of the game, his first of the tournament, and Toews was credited with an assist on Shea Weber’s game-winning goal in the third. Toews also won eight of 12 faceoffs in the game.

Duncan Keith was credited with five shots on net in 22:51 in the win; only Weber was on the ice more than Keith.

Unfortunately, John Tavares left the game with a leg injury. Mike Babcock confirmed after the game that the Olympics are over for the Islanders’ center.

Patrick Kane had an assist on the USA’s first goal as they easily handled the Czech Republic 5-2. Ryan Suter was credited with three assists and David Backes had one goal and one assist in the victory.

In the loss, Michal Rozsival skated 18:54 and was minus-two with one shot on net.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sweden defeated Slovenia 5-0 behind two goals from Carl Hagelin. Johnny Oduya was credited with an assist in the victory, while Niklas Hjalmarsson skated 18:32. Only Erik Karlsson, who had two assists, was on the ice more for Sweden than Hjalmarsson in the victory. Marcus Kruger won 11 of 16 faceoffs while skating 11:54 for the winners.

In the fourth game of the day, Finland upset Russia to end the tournament for the home country.

Here is the schedule for Friday, Feb. 21:

  • Finland vs. Sweden – 6:00 AM CT
  • United States vs. Canada – 11:00 AM CT

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17 Responses to USA, Canada Advance In Sochi

  1. morrison says:

    Canada is a ticking bomb. Watch them have a big game now.

  2. ebonyraptor says:

    Tazer isn’t denting the scoreboard much but he is playing like a man possessed. Pretty much the same can be said about Keith – best defender playing in Sochi from the games I’ve watched. Good to see Sharp put one in because up until that point I think the only things on his ledger have been penalties.

    It can’t go without saying than Kane has struggled a bit more than expected offensively so far but he contributing in the defensive zone as much if not more than I’ve ever seen him – good to see.

    I have yet to see more than a few minutes of any Sweden games so I don’t have first hand observations on how our “Svedes” are doing.

    It’s a shame Russia spit the bit because I would have preferred to see them at their best, but I can’t complain about the final matchups. Canada vs USA and Sweden vs Finland are the two best rivalries in international hockey. Looking forward to these next games.

    I love Olympic hockey.

  3. RyanDale says:

    Ive yet to tune in much at all but when it gets this near to the end, ya just gotta watch!

    quick glance at money showed its close Can -115 USA -105

  4. wall says:

    Backes was a beast today for USA… I don’t like him,,, but the guy is big/tough/good.
    He man-handled Jagr! And not too many players can do that!
    All the Blues players have really stood out to me-
    Oshie 4 out of 6 in Shoot-out, Pet-angelo, Backes all have been solid

    Kessel, JVR also have looked good

  5. Negzz says:

    Go USA! Time to bury Canada once and for all and achieve payback for 2010. Harass and physically abuse the crying Crosby and you’re half the way there. Canada has been lucky to get this far in view of their inability to respond to tight quarters play (despite significant contributions from Hawks like Toews and Keith), and the US is built right to inflict more pain on this team. Friday score prediction: USA 3 – Canada 1. Gold medal game will be USA vs. Sweden..

    Interesting POV from watching to date:
    * Hate Backes when we (Hawks) play him, love him on USA as he will be major influence in Canada’s defeat.
    * Kessel is as good/hot as advertised.
    * Hockey is tough enough and a great game without fisticuffs.

    BTW, am vacationing in place where many Canadians are present and they are VERY anti-USA when games are on public viewing TV. Despite some “spirited” give and take, they are obviously worried about OUR time imho..

  6. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Sweden over Canada for the gold is my bet. That Sweden team has wicked good chemistry and I simply don’t see a superior talent team in Canada or the US beating them.

  7. wall says:

    Fins really frustrated Soviets today…

    USA has looked the best so far… Speed line , size line, Check/physical line (Backes, Ranger) and ALL lines have skill…

    Hoping for Fins/USA final!!!

  8. morrison says:

    With how may people Finland has out (and how stacked CAN/USA are), if they get gold that would be amazing by Finns.

  9. Peter says:

    This is the most skill I have ever seen Backes play with and he is devastating people. What he did to consistently fluster Jagr was nice (what he typically does to Toews), but in the game vs. the Czechs he also played offense. I don’t know if he could focus on that because the Czech’s weren’t as good as the Blackhawks or if the Jagr line had no desire to get the puck back after losing it. Regardless Backes was a beast. I will give him credit because I am one of the first to rip him when the Hawks play the Blues.

    Even though Brown scored a goal, I still think he is a no talent punk.

    Kane is playing hard and back checking. It is nice to see him play so hard defensively when his offense hasn’t necessarily been there. He took a lot of shots yesterday, but controlled the puck in the offensive zone too. If I had one suggestion to him, I would have shot a few of the times he passed and passed a few of the times he shot. Its like he did opposite of what the defense was showing him.

    My fear in the Canadian game is that there are a lot of players ready to drop some offense (Crosby, Toews, Sharp, and Kane) and only one of those are from the USA. Hopefully the USA keeps it up. I will say this, the USA has been able to flip the “defensively” aware lines throughout the Games. One game it is Backes and Brown leading the defense against the other team’s top line, the next it is Parise and Kesler. That rotation may help keep the Canadians on their toes.

  10. JS says:

    So who wants to meet at a bar in Chicago at 11am?

  11. Mike says:

    Whatever happens I just hope no Hawk gets injured. There are still SEVEN Hawks playing….3 Canada, 3 Sweden, 1 USA. Looking for a USA win for sure but Holy Crap, If Canada plays Sweden there will be SIX Hawks in that game.

  12. Phil says:

    My home bar is open JS, but not in the city proper. Excellent beer on tap, and I will be enjoying a few tomorrow for the game

  13. EspoForever says:

    Finland, the 4 seed beats Russia the 5 seed. Funny everyone calls that an “upset.”

  14. Tim G says:

    Mike-… doesn’t really matter the out comes… All remaining hawks have 2 games, cuz if you lose tomorrow you still play for the Bronze medal match…

  15. Morgzie says:

    Interesting watching the US play – all the players that bug the hell out of me when they play the Hawks play for he US. Backes and Brown particularly…there are a couple others who I can’t remember at the moment. Those big guys who hit everything and get under your skin.

    That seems to be the US game. Interesting watching Kane in that context. He so not physical that to see him with all the bruisers is weird. It’s not his game so it feels like he spends time being lost offensively.

    I also anticipated a lot more room with the wider rinks, but forgot that the blue line is closer, so there are far fewer point shots and not so much extra room to control the puck.

  16. wall says:

    Watched the OT of Womens Gold game… AWFUL officiating- what a JOKE!!!
    Really sad- makes the Refs in the WWF look legit!!!

    It’s bad when they miss obvious calls… BUT when they make up calls- takes it to another level!!! AND when it decides a Gold medal

  17. Peter says:

    The officiating was horrendous. Canada got hot and tied the game legitimately. How the ref was in the way and the US almost scored the empty net goal was an absolute joke. The OT officiating was worse. The “slash” by the US player on the Canadian goalie was ridiculous. The take down by Knight, if it really was a take down, was called as a cross-check. I really don’t know that the Canadian player was touched by Knight, but if she was it should have been a penalty shot. Canada won in OT on a 5 on 3 PP…(the Canadian penalty had just expired).

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