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The U.S. Olympic men’s hockey squad was able to pull away from the Norwegians with three third period goals Thursday in Vancouver, giving them a convincing 6-1 win and second straight victory, heading into Sunday’s big matchup with the gold medal favorite Canadians.
Former Bruin Phil Kessel and former B.U. grad Chris Drury both netted first period goals for the American team, followed by Chicago’s Patrick Kane, who gave the U.S. a three-goal lead in the second.
Norway got on the board before the second period ended, but it was a trio of U.S. goals in the third that sealed the deal, including a pair from New Jersey Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski. Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller had to make just 11 saves for the 6-1 victory.
The Americans now head into their highly touted game with the host Canadians Sunday with a one-point advantage in the Group A standings, after Canada escaped major humiliation Thursday by narrowly beating Switzerland in a shootout, 3-2. Switzerland knocked off the mighty Canadians four years ago in Torino, Italy, 2-0, and almost pulled off the upset yet again this year. Instead, Sunday’s skate between these two North American powerhouses will likely decide which team gets a bye into the quarterfinals.