Hockey border showdown set for Sunday

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No player, however, will play a bigger part in the U.S. looking to author an upset than Miller, the Michigan State product who is getting his first Olympic action this year.

Miller, who is contention for the NHL’s Vezina Trophy for top netminder, will look to keep up some of his strong play that has Buffalo in contention for the Northeast Division title. With the Olypmic tournament’s format, nothing fuels an upset bid like a hot goalie, and facing some talented forwards from here on out, Miller will have to play as the road will get much tougher for the U.S. Even more tricky for the NHL players is unlike the Stanley Cup playoffs, which is a best-of-seven series, the medal round is single-elimination format, making things even more unpredictable and magnifying bad performances by a netminder, as a bad showing can evaporate a team’s medal hopes in a hurry.

The winner of Sunday’s game will get an automatic bye into the quarterfinals, and also earn an easier draw, while the loser will need to play an extra game to reach the quarterfinals. In addition, the two countries will be able to measure how they stack up as the Canadian look to justify their status as a medal favorite, while the Americans try to make their mark and put themselves in the medal conversation with a strong showing.

For hockey fans, it will be great theater.

“This is going to be unbelievable,” former Capitals coach and current U.S. coach Ron Wilson told the New York Times. “Its going to be on every TV in Canada and a good number in America. Anyone who is a hockey fan will be watching. … Its going to be a great day for hockey.”

About the Author
Ted Starkey

Ted Starkey

Ted Starkey, a Web editor for the continuous news desk, has written for and edited high-traffic websites, including AOL News, AOL Sports, FanHouse.com, USAHockey.com and BuffaloBills.com. He also has covered the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics, Stanley Cup playoffs, NFL, NHL, MLB and NCAA hockey during his career.

He is a graduate of American University, with a double major in ...

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