US, Canada in early showdown

Team Canada beats Finland in women's hockey at 2018 Winter Olympics

Team Canada beats Finland in women's hockey at 2018 Winter Olympics

The U.S. women have no problem getting pucks at the net when they play the Canadians.

No medal will be on the line Thursday.

The contest between the two women's ice hockey super powers was played at a pace and skill level not witnessed in the other preliminary round contests, the display reminding everyone that the US and Canada remain a class apart.

Thursday's game was their first meeting since Canada edged the USA 2-1 in overtime December 17 in Edmonton. Thursday, the Americans controlled possession for much of the game and at times dominated Canada, which has now won 23 straight Olympic matches since losing to the Americans in the gold-medal game in 1998.The problem was putting the puck in the net.

Yes, the Americans have been waiting for this moment since the final horn blew in 2014. Not in the second period, when Jocelyn Lamourex-Davidson was awarded a penalty shot, went forehand, backhand, forehand, backhand and then watched her shot ricochet off the knob of Lacasse's stick. "We're focused on the things that we can control, and certainly those games that we've played in the past have nothing to do with our future".

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

For now, the Canadians and Americans know millions will be watching a game scheduled for just after noon in South Korea to allow North Americans the chance to watch some late night hockey on Valentine's Day. The Olympics only raises the stakes.

The Canadian players have been so schooled to say next to nothing bolder than the one-game-at-a-time drivel that it's tough to get a read on how confident they are. "And some of those are on the U.S.as well, so it's an exciting time for us". The United States won three of the first four, including two to win the Four Nations Cup title.

Canada finishes group play undefeated (3-0) to take the top seed, with the US (2-1) coming in second in Group A. "It doesn't matter what happened before".

Canada opened their defense of their Olympic men's ice hockey gold medal with a workmanlike 5-1 win over Switzerland on Thursday in a muted contest that failed to fill the Kwandong Hockey Centre.

"It's always a battle, especially against the US", Agosta said. -Canada a "great rivalry". "We're going to give 100 percent". "We'll bring the exact same emotion the next game". "To come here and put more pucks in the net than we were expecting ... that's exciting". As far as their own group, it's easily the fourth-best team on paper, with a lot of players actually hailing from Canada. If there's a team that can do it at last, it's this one. As of this writing, 85% of bettors are betting on the Canadians to win.

Schuler grumbled the familiar hockey coach's lament that once her team took a 4-0 lead they got a little too hungry for more goals at the expense of some defensive play.

"Playing my first games with some of the best veterans in the world is pretty special", Saulnier said.

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