Former Olympian says curling and hockey are part of Canadian values


Germany will play in the Olympic final in hockey for the first time ever, a country with only two bronze medals in its history _ the last in 1976.

Typically a third-place finish is no cause for celebration in Canadian hockey, but members of the team were all smiles while receiving their bronze medals. "It wasn't the way we wanted it to end but I'm proud of what we've done".

The Czech Republic, whose solitary Olympic crown came at Nagano 1998, had other ideas, of course, and went into the match hoping to repeat their 3-2 victory in the preliminary round, when they had exposed the Canadians' defensive frailties. "We know how Canada plays, and we just need that same effort and that same kind of togetherness". The women's hockey team lost their gold medal to the USA ending Canada's 16 year run as Olympic champions.

The second period passed without a goal, but the red light has again been highly sought in the third commitment. Kirill Kaprizov jumped in to screen Francouz on Gusev's goal that was upheld after a goaltender interference challenge, and Gavrikov put the puck into an empty net on a 2-on-1 rush with Ivan Telegin.

The Czechs had the advantage 34-26 for the shots.

Wolski made it 6-2 with 4:37 remaining, banging the puck in after several attempts in a goalmouth scramble.

The Russians are very comfortable with each other and took a business-like approach to their final preparations for Germany, which had a light, up-tempo practice.

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Czech Martin Ruzicka, who was in the penalty box during the goal for hooking, answered back 16 seconds later, putting in an equalizer off a deflected shot by Roman Cervenka.

In scoring twice on 19 shots against Francouz, the favored Russians were not overly powerful but certainly as opportunistic as they were in a 4-0 victory over the United States in group play.

The Russians last won a gold medal in hockey in 1992 in Albertville, France, in the first Winter Olympics of the post-Soviet Union era.

Sturm doesn't want to forget about those players but was eager to see how this team with just a handful of former National Hockey League players like Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc and backup goaltender Timo Pielmeier would handle a big stage without the big guns. Gilbert Brule had a power-play goal for Canada before being ejected for a high hit on David Wolf. Canada's NHL-stacked team then lost the bronze medal game to Finland. The Germans one-upped that win by knocking off Canada in the semifinals.

Canada's only prior men's hockey bronze medals came in 1968 at Grenoble and 1956 at Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation swept aside Norway 6-1 on Wednesday to set up a semifinal against the Czech Republic. "We can't look too far ahead". Cervenka scored a minute later, and the Czechs pulled Francouz for an extra skater during a power play, allowing Cervenka to add another to bring it within two, but the Czech offensive ended there.