Advantage Canada

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- What's wrong with the USA?

OK. It's not the same in junior hockey south of the border.

There's nowhere near the angst as there is in the home country with Team Canada struggling going into today's Canada-USA game.

But the tournament favourite Americans gassed the advantage in today's game by skating to a 2-2 tie against Switzerland here last night.

As a result, if today's game ends in a tie, it will be Canada instead of the USA proceeding directly to the medal round with the Americans forced to play a sudden-death crossover semifinal.

Canada is concerned about a 4-3 win over Switzerland and a 4-0 win over Norway going into the big game tonight, but the Americans with the star-studded lineup were only able to beat Finland 6-5 and tie Switzerland 2-2 in their last two games.

'EVERYBODY IS HAPPY'

"Everybody is happy in Switzerland,'' said coach Jakob Kolliker.

"I hope so,'' said U.S. coach Walt Kyle.

Kyle said he has a two-hour rule with his team after a game.

"Two hours to be happy if we win and two hours to be upset if we lose.''

One hour for a tie?

"We can't afford to be upset.

"We have to come back against Canada (today).''

Robbie Schremp, the London Knight who is Edmonton Oilers property, tried to find a positive in the result.

"It's probably good to have some adversity going into a game against Canada,'' he said.

In the first three games of the tournament, the Americans out-scored the Canadians 19-13. On the other hand, Canada allowed only four goals compared to nine by the USA.

The USA opened the tournament with an 11-2 win over Norway while Canada scored a 5-1 win over Finland.

MADE IT INTERESTING

Geoff Paukovich and Bobby Ryan scored for the Americans in the first period. Eric Blum made it interesting with a goal for Switzerland at 7:53 of the third. Mathias Joggi tied it up at 14:08.

There is no overtime or shootout in pool play.


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