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Olympics recap, Day 8: Canada defeats the U.S., books gold-medal showdown with Sweden

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks
Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane went head to head in Friday's Olympic semifinal game between Canada and Team USA. Canada won 1-0 and will have the chance to defend their 2010 gold medal against Sweden on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Players representing the Blackhawks in Sochi, Russia, will bring home at least six medals, as Sweden and Canada secured berths in the gold-medal clash on Sunday. Patrick Kane has the opportunity to make that total seven, as Team USA will face Finland in the bronze-medal game.

In the first semifinal on Friday, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Krugus helped Team Sweden advance to the gold-medal game after defeating Finland 2-1. All of the scoring occurred in the second period; Winnipeg's Olli Jokinen opened the scoring for the Finns, before Sweden answered through Boston's Loui Eriksson and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson (PPG).

The Swedes will try to win their country's third Olympic hockey gold medal on Sunday, but they'll have to get through the defending gold medalists, after Canada emerged from their own semifinal with a 1-0 win over Team USA. The lone goal was deflected into the net by Dallas’ Jamie Benn, and Montreal netminder Carey Price made 31 stops to record his first Olympic shutout for Canada.

Marcus Kruger (SWE): Kruger continued centering Sweden's fourth line, playing alongside Carl Hagelin (New York Rangers) and Jimmie Ericsson (Skelleftea AIK). Along with Blackhawks teammates Hjalmarsson and Oduya, Kruger helped kill a lengthy 5-on-3 penalty in the first period that helped preserve a scoreless tie. He won 11 of 16 faceoffs (68.8 percent) in 12:41 of ice time.

Niklas Hjalmarsson (SWE): Hjalmarsson played 22:00 in the win over Finland, just 6 seconds fewer than the team lead, and was a key part in Sweden's penalty kill, which went 5-for-5 in the contest.

Johnny Oduya (SWE): Oduya finished the game with 21:25 of ice time while playing alongside Hjalmarsson; he also contributed to Sweden's success while down a man.

Patrick Kane (USA): Kane ranked third among American forwards with 20:25 of ice time and recorded three shots on goal in the 1-0 loss to Canada. He played with captain Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild) and Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks) on the top line.

Patrick Sharp (CAN): Sharp led Team Canada with five shots on goal in 10:26 of ice time, while playing on the fourth line with Matt Duchene (Colorado) and Rick Nash (New York Rangers).

Jonathan Toews (CAN): Toews led his team at the faceoff dot, winning 10 of 16 draws (62.5 percent); he leads Canada with 46 total faceoff wins through five games at the Olympics. The alternate captain played a checking line role with Patrick Marleau (San Jose) and Jeff Carter (Los Angeles) and took one shot on goal in 15:45.

Duncan Keith (CAN): Keith logged 20:23 of ice time while playing on the top Canadian pairing with Shea Weber and was held without a shot on goal in the contest against the U.S.

Weekend Olympics schedule (Feb. 22-23)

Bronze Medal: (4) Finland vs. United States - 9 a.m. CT (Feb. 22)
Patrick Kane

Gold Medal: (1) Sweden vs. Canada - 6 a.m. CT (Feb. 23)
Niklas Hjalmarsson
, Marcus Kruger, Johnny Oduya (SWE); Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews (CAN)

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