Canada hit with double whammy

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

INNSBRUCK -- So you finish first in your pool and what does it get you?

A double whammy, that's what.

Canada, with a 3-1 win over the United States here last night, won the pool and advances Saturday against Sweden, the team which finished undefeated in the other Innsbruck pool.

Sweden will play with two days between games to Canada's one. Which is one thing.

But the IIHF has scheduled it as a night game here and is then sending Canada out against Finland, second place in the other pool, for the afternoon game here Sunday.

"You just do what they say and go play," said Canadian coach Marc Habscheid.

Habscheid has decided to make today's practice optional. If there's an upside to the schedule, it's that Canada plays two countries which traditionally have played a similar style.

"Twenty years ago that would have been more of an advantage. Now all the countries are playing almost the same international game."

The Swedes beat Finland 5-1.

As a result of their loss, the Americans have to return to the ice today to play the Finns in the first game of the qualifying round.

With the fourth-place teams - Slovenia and Denmark - proceeding to the relegation round, their results against the other teams drop off. Thus Canada and Sweden go on with 2-0 records, the U.S. and Finland move forward at 1-1 and Latvia and the Ukraine proceed at 0-2.

Canada will play the Ukraine on Tuesday. The quarter-final crossover games will be held Thursday. Wins over Sweden and Finland would guarantee Canada would finish first and play the fourth-place team out of the Vienna group here in Innsbruck.

Medal-round games are next Saturday and Sunday in Vienna.


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