The Canadian men's hockey team reigned supreme over its American counterpart on Friday, less than 24 hours after the women claimed a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over Team USA to win gold.
Behind a 31-save shutout from goalie Carey Price, Team Canada edged out the United States 1-0 to secure a trip to the gold-medal game. Sweden also reached the men's final on Friday after beating Finland 2-1 in the other semifinal earlier in the day.
Both the Americans and the Canadians will try to add to their medal counts as they jockey for position toward the top of the leaderboard with just two days of competitions to go.
The U.S. men's hockey team will go for bronze on Saturday, while the Canadians will defend their 2010 gold medal on Sunday. Here's a look ahead to both medal games complete with TV and live stream viewing info. For more information, visit Sochi2014.com.
Gold-Medal Game: CAN vs. SWE
Date: Sunday, Feb. 23
Time: 7 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Replay: Feb. 23, 5 p.m. ET, NBC SN
Team Canada coach Mike Babcock utilized an interesting strategy for his team against the Americans and it worked. Despite boasting one of the most talented crops of forwards in the world, Babcock told his players to focus on being two-way contributors on Friday.
Mark Purdy of the Bay Area News Group passed along comments from Canadian defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Best analysis I got was from Vlasic: "Even the most offensive-minded players in the world were defensive-minded tonite." Canada was D first.— Mark Purdy (@MercPurdy) February 21, 2014
Who Will Win?
Aside from being defensive-minded, Babcock's team was also opportunistic against the Americans, as Jamie Benn's close-range goal in traffic off a great assist from Jay Bouwmeester in the second period was enough to win the contest.
That was only made possible by a stellar effort from Price, who stopped all 31 shots he faced from an unrelenting American attack. In the end, the Canadians were able to dictate the tempo of the game and control the middle of the ice after Benn's goal.
"We didn't score a lot of goals, but we didn't have to," Canada forward Jonathan Toews told Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. "The next game will follow that work ethic. We can check, we can work our tails off, and we can make things real tough for the other team."
It all sets up the Canadians with another quality matchup against the 2006 gold medal-winning Swedes, who traditionally play a skilled brand of hockey. Larry Lage of the Associated Press offered some perspective on Sweden's place in Olympic history.
The Swedes can join Canada as the only country to win two gold medals since NHL players began participating in the Olympics. It would be quite a feat for a team missing three of its best players, all of whom would be top-line forwards.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg pulled out of the Olympics after playing in one game because of a herniated disk. Henrik Sedin, Daniel's twin, and Johan Franzen didn't make the trip to Russia because of injuries.
"It's an unbelievable feeling being back in the final and playing for gold," Sweden forward Daniel Alfredsson said. "Except for our setback with Zetterberg. I felt so sad for him."
Anchoring Team Sweden is goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who had 25 saves in the semifinal. For the tournament he has a 1.20 goal against average with a 95.12 save percentage (117-of-123) in five contests, and will be a formidable foe for Team Canada to take down.
Bronze-Medal Game: USA vs. FIN
Date: Saturday, Feb. 22
Time: 10 a.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Replay: Feb. 22, 6 p.m. ET, NBC SN
The Americans didn't look bad on Friday, but Canada was simply too stout on defense and able to capitalize on their best chance of the evening.
Clearly, the U.S. was disappointed to be shutout after scoring 20 goals in four games entering the semifinal.
"We didn't really create much offense," U.S. forward Patrick Kane told Beacham. "On the chances we did have, their goalie made some good saves. It's a little disappointing. ... I think everyone expected a tight-checking game, but to say we would have gotten shut out, I don't think anyone would have thought that."
The United States will be sure to keep an eye on the Finland goalie situation heading into Saturday's showdown, as starter Tuukka Rask (illness) was replaced by Kari Lehtonen on Friday.
Who Will WIn?
Finland took bronze in 2010 and will be looking to repeat against the Americans.
"A bronze medal would be an unbelievable thing," 43-year-old forward Teemu Selanne said, via Lage. "So, that is our goal now even though it is very disappointing right now."
The Finns went 2-0-1 with a 2-1 overtime loss to Canada in the group stage before knocking out host country Russia 3-1 in the quarterfinals. As good as the Americans looked in their run up to the semifinals, the Finns have been here before and have already risen to the occasion once in this tournament.