Olympic hockey outcome so far: Harper 1, Obama 0

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is ready for the icy cold one President Barack Obama promised him.

With their countries facing off in a pair of Olympic hockey games this week, more than just the puck is on the line.

The leaders had wagered a case of beer on each game, a bet they apparently brewed Wednesday while in Toluca, Mexico, for a day of meetings with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Obama and Harper announced their friendly wager on Thursday over Twitter.

“@pmharper and I bet on the women’s and men’s US-Canada hockey games. Winner gets a case of beer for each game. (hashtag)GoTeamUSA!” Obama said in a morning tweet signed “-bo,” which is how the White House designates messages sent personally by the president.

About the same time, a message on Harper’s official Twitter feed said: “I’m betting @barackobama one case of Canadian beer per hockey game this week. (hashtag)teamusa is good, but (hashtag)WeAreWinter. (hashtag)GoCanadaGo.

Harper was on an airplane returning home from Mexico on Thursday afternoon when he learned that the Canada women’s hockey team had defeated the U.S., 3-2, in overtime, to win its fourth straight Olympic gold medal - and that he also had won a case of beer.

He’ll receive one of the varieties of beer that are brewed at the White House using honey from the beehive on the South Lawn.

“I look forward to watching the game later and @barackobama, I look forward to my case of beer,” said a follow-up message on Harper’s Twitter page.

The prime minister even took over the intercom on the airplane to announce the team’s latest Olympic victory, said his spokesman, Jason MacDonald. Cheers and applause erupted.

The U.S. and Canada men’s teams play Friday for a spot in the final, and a chance to go for the gold.

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Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.

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