US, Canada meet in early Olympic showdown among world's best

Willie Desjardins

Today in Olympic History

The Olympic hockey schedule has all teams, men's and women's, starting games at varied hours. The screams reverberating around Kwandong Hockey Centre as both sides fought for the puck in those final seconds made it seem as if a medal was on the line.

"Obviously disappointed with the result, I think we have been playing pretty well just been missing some shots and we've had teams play really well against us", said Canadian lead Lisa Weagle. There have already been two major upsets, with the Russians and Americans each being on the wrong end of one, with more surely to come.

The group a match held on Thursday, ended with the score 5:1 (2:0, 2:0, 1:1) in favor of the Canadians, in which goals scored by Rene Bourque (3-I and 26-I minute), Maxim Noro (8) and Wojtek Wolski (26 and 55), the Swiss scored by Simon Moser (48).

The loss to the Canadian hurt more than the Americans' pride: They're now bracketed to play the victor of Sweden and Finland on Monday, which likely means another battle with Noora Raty of Finland, a goalie capable of pulling an upset on her own.

The semi-finals are set for February 19 followed by the bronze medal game on February 21.

"Exactly one year ago today I laid in a hospital bed after having surgery to fix a broken neck", Wolski said after being named to Team Canada in January. The Olympics only raises the stakes.

"It's a rivalry", USA coach Robb Stauber said of the physical play.

It marked the first time since the 1994 Games that Canada fielded a team that wasn't made up of NHLers.

The United States certainly had plenty of chances, outshooting Canada 45-23.

The Swiss looked overmatched against Canada in its first game and will look to rebound vs. the host country Saturday.

Bourque signed with Djurgardens in Sweden, where he has 13 goals and eight assists, and played for Canada in the Karjala Cup and Channel One Cup in the leadup to the Games to win a spot on the roster.

Both teams lost their second game of the Olympics after earning surprising victories to open up the tournament. "It doesn't matter what happened before".

Former Providence College women's hockey goaltender Genevieve Lacasse '12 turned in a 44-save performance on February 14 to help Canada defeat the United States, 2-1, in group play at the PyeongChang Olympic games. -Canada a "great rivalry".

"They're going to come hard", said the 36-year-old Erat, who finished his National Hockey League career with Washington and Phoenix/Arizona before returning home to play. "We backed off a little bit as the game went on, but that would be about it". We have a lot of respect for each other. Like it's not like we'd be surprised if we dropped a game.

"Leading up to this tournament, I started feeling more like myself again", Wolski said to AP, "and just hoping that it continues to get better and that I'm peaking at the right moment".

Canada's Rachel Homan is still searching for her first curling win at the Winter Olympics. Borque also looked comfortable on the top Canadian power play unit that produced two goals.

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