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US, Canada and Sweden, Finland to meet in semis
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - For hockey fans, it should be a fantastic Friday.
The winners will go for gold Sunday in the Sochi Games.
“To win a medal of any kind at the Olympics is a home run,” Canada coach Mike Babcock said. “But there’s one medal that everyone came for and dreamt about.”
Swedish defenseman Nicklas Kronwall knows all of the players on the ice for the Americans and Canadians, giving him a unique perspective on the game.
And like his coach, Kronwall isn’t afraid to make a prediction.
“I don’t know what it is, but it just feels like the U.S. has had a real good tournament so far,” Kronwall said after Thursday’s practice. “It seems like everyone is on the same page. It’s going to be a tight game, but I think that maybe the U.S. will take this one.”
Even though many of the players in the U.S.-Canada matchup are NHL teammates, including Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, there will likely be a lot of hitting and perhaps some talking on the ice.
“There’s a lot of animosity, a lot of feelings like there’s something to prove between both teams,” Toews said.
“It’s a love-hate relationship, definitely,” Kronwall said.
Twenty-four American and Canadian players have returned from the Vancouver Games finale, which ended with Sidney Crosby’s goal in overtime.
This time, Sid the Kid will go against the coach who leads his NHL team.
When Crosby is on the ice, U.S. forward David Backes will probably be ready to match up with the superstar.
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