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U.S. Hockey Team Primed for Semifinal Vs. Canada in 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

February 17th, 2014 at 11:15 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The U.S. men's Olympic hockey team is lined up for a semifinal showdown against Canada after the medal round seedings were finalized Sunday.

The Buffalo Sabres' Ryan Miller helped the United States clinch Group A Sunday with its 5-1 win over Slovenia. The Americans' 2-0-1-0 record was good for second overall in the 12-team tournament behind Sweden, which won all three of its games in regulation.

'Men's Gold Medal: Canada vs. USA' photo (c) 2010, s.yume - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Those two teams, along with Canada and Finland, earned first-round byes into the quarterfinals. The bottom eight teams will play in the preliminary round Tuesday. As the No. 2 overall seed, the United States will play the winner of Tuesday's game between No. 7 Czech Republic and No. 10 Slovakia, which the Americans beat 7-1 last week in the opening Winter Olympics game for both teams. Canada earned the No. 3 seed, meaning it and the United States would play in Friday's semifinals if both teams advance. Canada beat the United States in overtime in the 2010 gold medal game.

Sunday's game was the first and likely only start for Miller, who's backing up Jonathan Quick. The Sabres' Jhonas Enroth is a backup goalie for Sweden. He's dressed twice but has yet to play as Henrik Lundqvist has played every minute in goal and allowed only five goals on 78 shots. The Sabres Henrik Tallinder has also dressed in two games for Sweden, not registering a point. Buffalo's Zemgus Girgensons has one goal in three games for Latvia, which is coached by Buffalo coach Ted Nolan and has lost all three of its games in regulation; it enters the medal round as the No. 11 seed and will play Switzerland on Tuesday.

Here are the first- and second-round pairings for medal round play. Times are EST.

Preliminary round Tuesday

  • No. 5 Russia vs. No. 12 Norway, 7:30 a.m.
  • No. 6 Switzerland vs. No. 11 Latvia, noon
  • No. 7 Czech Republic vs. No. 10 Slovakia, noon
  • No. 8 Slovenia vs. No. 9 Austria, 3 a.m.

Quarterfinals Wednesday

  • Sweden vs. Slovenia-Austria winner, 3 a.m.
  • United States vs. Czech Republic-Slovakia winner, noon
  • Canada vs. Switzerland-Latvia winner, noon
  • Finland vs. Russia-Norway winner, 7:30 a.m.
Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Henrik Tallinder, Hockey, Jhonas Enroth, NHL, Olympic, Ryan Miller, Ted Nolan, United States, Winter Olympics, Zemgus Girgensons

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