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Canada to face Sweden in gold-medal game

Babcock's Canadians shut out USA, look to repeat as Olympic champions

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 4:24 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Canada to face Sweden in gold-medal game
The Canadians react to Jamie Benn's second-period goal that stood up in a 1-0 win over the United States for a berth in to the Olympic gold-medal game. (Photo by Getty Images)

With a berth to the gold-medal game on the line in an intense rematch of the 2010 Olympic finals, Canada once again earned a narrow victory over the USA in the tournament’s last semifinal game Friday.

“We were on top of the puck, we were winning battles, we were on the right side of the puck, we were all over the place tonight and we were just fortunate to get that one goal that got us ahead,” goaltender Carey Price told NBC Sports Net’s Pierre McGuire.

The USA entered the matchup as the highest scoring team in the tournament, having netted 20 goals through its first four games. But behind Price’s 31 saves, Canada shut out the Americans en route to the 1-0 victory.

“Well I told Price after the game, he controls the whole pace of the game,” Anaheim forward Ryan Getzlaf said. “When he eats pucks and swallows them, gets those faceoffs for us it slows everything down and calms our team down.”

Dallas’ Jamie Benn scored the game’s lone goal nearly two minutes into the second period. The forward passed to Jay Bouwmeester and cut towards the net, where his teammate fed the puck right back to him and Benn redirected it into the back of the net.

Benn is the only player for Canada that wasn’t invited to the country’s Olympic camp last summer and has experienced a lot of success in Sochi skating on a line with his NHL teammates Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

“I have a lot of fun playing with those guys back in the NHL,” Benn said. “We have good chemistry off of the ice, we’re always hanging out and it’s just fun to play with those guys.”

Goaltender Jonathan Quick made a number of terrific saves to keep the USA within one goal, including an acrobatic block followed by an outstretched dive onto the puck to slow down the Canadians late in the second period.

But after dominating offensively through the entire tournament, the Americans were unable to generate any goals against the defending gold-medal champions.

The Canadians have only allowed three goals in their five tournament games.

“It seems like we had a tough time sustaining any pressure in their end,” Rangers forward Ryan Callahan said. “They outnumbered us in their zone, came up with it quick and as we expected they were quick in transition.”

The Canadians will face Sweden Sunday (7 a.m. EST) in the gold-medal game as they continue their quest for back-to-back first-place Olympic finishes under Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. If Canada is victorious against the Swedes, Babcock will become the only coach to lead one country to a gold medal victory in consecutive Olympic appearances.

“They’re obviously a great team and they’ve went through this tournament with intense game so we have to make sure we’re ready in a couple days here,” Getzlaf said of Sweden.

The USA will battle Finland for the bronze medal on Saturday (10 a.m. EST).

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89