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1ST EXTRA Canada lose first Olympic ice hockey game since 2010, US also go down By Andre Leslie, dpa

Europe, Europa
17.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Gangneung, South Korea (dpa) - Canada lost their first Olympic men‘s ice hockey match in eight years on Saturday, 3-2 in a shoot-out against the Czech Republic, while the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team cruised to victory over the United States.

With the score tied at 2-2 after regulation and overtime, Petr Koukal and Jan Kovar scored for the Czechs in the shoot-out while only Wojtek Wolski was on target for Canada and Maxim Noreau was denied by the post.

"It was not the situation we wanted to be in at the end of the game," Noreau said later. "I thought (my shot) was going in. I must have pushed it wide or there was snow. But we do not have to dwell on that."

"There were a couple of bad bounces where we could have gotten our stick on a rebound and had a tap-in goal or something. We are disappointed but we play again (on Sunday against South Korea) so we can regroup."

Canada last lost at the Olympics at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, 5-3 against the US in their final group match. They won the next 10 matches to take gold in 2010 and 2014 and opened their 2018 Olympic campaign with a 5-1 victory over Switzerland.

The loss will not affect their Pyeongchang chances as all 12 teams advance into the knock-out rounds. However, only the three group winners and the best runner-up advance straight into the quarter-finals, while the other eight form four play-off ties to determine the other four spots.

Late Saturday, the US lost 4-0 to the OAR team at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. The Russian side went 1-0 up in the first period thanks to Nikolai Prokhorkin and he doubled the lead shortly after the break.

A late second period goal from Ilya Kovalchuk saw the OAR side move to 3-0, before the SKA Saint Petersburg player struck again in the third to seal the game. In the night‘s other group B fixture, Slovenia defeated Slovakia 3-2 after a penalty shoot-out, prompting riotous celebrations on the ice.

The US and Canada, and other nations, are not fielding their strongest teams as the National Hockey League did not want to break up its season and allow its players to attend the Olympics.

 

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