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USA - Canada to Meet in Gold Medal Match

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


North American hockey fans will get the match they had hoped for when the United States and Canada began play one week ago ... a meeting in Sunday's gold medal game.

Team USA raced to a 3-0 lead after two periods of play Friday night and then withstood a furious third-period rally by Russia to hold on for a 3-2 victory in their Olympic semifinal game. The U.S. will face their northern neighbors after Canada dispatched upstart Belarus, 7-1, in Friday's early semifinal game.

Brian Leetch collected his fifth assist of the tournament, while Mike Richter turned aside 28 of 30 Russian attempts, improving to 2-0-1 in the 2002 Winter Games. Vladimir Malakhov netted Russia's second goal in a wild third period at the E Center. The United States improves to 21-0-2 in its last 23 Olympic Games on home ice, dating back to the 1932 Games in Lake Placid. Eric Lindros collected his first goal of the tournament in Canada's victory.

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U.S. TOPS RUSSIA FOR SHOTS AT GOLD
Courtesy of www.nhl.com
February 22, 2002 - Twenty-two years later, same result. The United States advanced to the gold medal game of the Olympic hockey tournament for the first time since 1980 with a 3-2 victory over Russia, building a three-goal lead and holding off a furious third-period comeback.

Exactly 22 years after defeating the Soviet Union in the Olympic semifinals, Herb Brooks again coached the Americans to victory.

Bill Guerin scored in the first period and defenseman Phil Housley had a goal and an assist in the second as the Americans built a seemingly comfortable lead. But Russia swarmed in the third period, scoring twice in the first 3:21 to put a major scare in the partisan sellout crowd of 8,599 at the E Center.

Behind Mike Richter, the U.S. was able to hold on and will face Canada on Saturday for the gold medal.

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CANADA REACHES FOR GOLDEN DREAM
Courtesy of www.nhl.com
February 22, 2002 - Team Canada will play for gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The Canadians put on a clinic Friday afternoon at the E Center, derailing Belarus, the Cinderella story of these Games, with a workmanlike effort that was total and impressive, going into the record books as a 7-1 Canada win.

The heroes were many for Team Canada, who had seven different goal scorers. By a margin of 51-14, Canada outshot Belarus, the team that shocked Sweden in the quarterfinals. That edge was definitely deserved.

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