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Olympic hockey - U.S. hopes for gold dashed by familiar foe

Jamie Benn scores the only goal in mens semifinal game
Jamie Benn scores the only goal in mens semifinal gamewww.startribune.com

There will be no gold medals in ice hockey for Team USA in 2014. Any American hopes for hockey gold in Sochi were dashed in a pair of one-goal games versus a familiar foe: our neighbors to the north, Canada.

In women's hockey, Team USA let its chance for gold slip away on Thursday when they failed to hold a 2-0, third period lead. Canada scored twice in the final 3:30 of regulation time to send the gold medal game to overtime. The feisty Canadians then won the gold medal in overtime defeating Team USA 3-2.

For Team Canada it was their fourth straight gold medal in women's hockey. For Team USA Thursday's game will be the one that got away. After carrying the play much of the game and earning a 2-0 lead late in the 3rd, they failed to finish Canada off and instead had to settle for their second straight silver medal.

On the men's side, Team USA and Canada played a mostly tight, very defensive game on Friday. Team USA tested Team Canada goaltender Carey Price a few times in the first period but had trouble all game long passing and managing the puck. Price made 31 saves for Canada in the game but for the most part those shots came from the perimeter while Team Canada played flawless and relentless team defense in front of Price for nearly the entire game. The lone goal in the game was scored by Team Canada forward Jamie Benn in the second period.

Canada will face Sweden in the gold medal game on Sunday. Team USA will play Finland for the bronze medal on Saturday.