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Bergeron, Eriksson to Play for Gold; USA to Face Finland for Bronze

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BostonBruins.com - Though Bruins fans hail from all over, there is no doubt the strongest contingent in Boston's backyard.

Olympic hockey often pits Bruin against Bruin, but country against Bruin?

That was the case for many on Friday, as Team USA played against a Canadian team with Patrice Bergeron, along with Coach Claude Julien and General Manager Peter Chiarelli, in the semifinal.

The Bruins' alternate captain will now play for gold against Loui Eriksson and Team Sweden on Sunday, after Canada defeated the United States 1-0.

Sweden won the first semifinal, 2-1, over Finland. Rask did not suit up due to illness. Team USA will now face off against Rask's squad for the bronze on Saturday.

One Bruin will be bringing home gold, with the potential for all three to bring home a medal.

While there was plenty of end-to-end action between the U.S. and Canada, with 68 shots put on goal at both ends, only one found the back of the net.

The lone goal of the game came from Jamie Benn, 1:41 into the second period, when he redirected a shot pass from Jay Bouwmeester in behind Jonathan Quick, who made 36 saves for the U.S.

Carey Price stopped 31 shots for Canada in the shutout.

The United States utilized their speed from the get-go, generating chances early, but Canada's defensive play made it difficult to allow them to sustain much pressure.

"We wanted to try and get pucks behind their D and create some opportunities that way. I thought we did it early on, but they defended well," Team USA's Ryan Callahan told NBCSN following the game.

"I mean, there's no question, they're a talented group and you see the skill they have, and how they play, so it's a tough one to take."

Bergeron finished the game with 16:59 in ice time, recording four shots on goal (all in the first period), playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. He was 58-percent on faceoffs.

Amidst an already strong tournament for the forward, Bergeron continued to help create chances on nearly every shift, while also showcasing his two-way game, and chipped in on the penalty kill.

"I think as a whole, the last couple [of games] we've been dangerous," Crosby told NBCSN, of his line with Bergeron. "We seemed to get better and better and hopefully that's a sign and we can put some in the back of the net here."

The next two days will feature the final two games in Sochi, with much still on the line, and plenty of great hockey to be played.

The bronze medal game between the U.S. and Finland will be aired live on NBCSN at 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday. We'll stay tuned to see if Rask is recovered from the flu that kept him out of Friday's semifinal against Sweden.

The gold medal game is set for Sunday at 7:00 a.m. ET on NBC.

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