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US beats Canada in men's ice hockey
Americans register first win over northern neighbours in Olympic clash since 1960.
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2010 15:57 GMT
Canadians watched in disbelief as their team was beaten by the US for the first time in decades [AFP]

The US has defeated gold medal favourites Canada 5-3 in men's ice hockey to record their first win over their neighbours in an Olympic clash in 50 years.

Brian Rafalski scored two goals and Ryan Miller made 42 saves in Sunday's match, while Jamie Langenbrunner, the US forward, scored the winner in the second  period.

The US are a perfect 3-0 and so received a bye into the tournament quarter-finals in Vancouver, British Columbia.

America's last victory over Canada at an Olympics was at the 1960 Squaw Valley Games when they clinched a 2-1 win.

"We had chances in the game, some hard chances. In the third period we had a lot of powerplays but we just ran out of time," Sidney Crosby, a Canada superstar, said.
  
"Ryan Miller was really solid and made some big saves. Sometimes you run into a hot goalie but we had some bad luck sometimes."
  
Dany Heatley and Eric Staal scored for Canada, who suffered their first loss of the tournament and now have to play in the eight-team qualifying round on Tuesday.

"I hate to say it but I think we just need to play more games," Martin Brodeur, Canada's goalie, said. "There's things we need to work  on, and hopefully that extra game will give us just that."

Like separate games
  
It looked like two separate games as the Canadians came charging out of the gate, outshooting the US 19-6 in the first period, but they could not get the puck past Miller who was superb in goal.

Canada outshot the Americans 45-23 overall.
  
"You've got Ryan Miller in net. I'll take a one-goal lead with this group and Ryan Miller in net any day," Jack Johnson, defenceman, said.
  
A goal by Dustin Brown, forward, late in the second period to make it 3-2, seemed to give the Americans a boost in confidence which they carried over into the third.
  
After Brown's goal, the Americans started to skate with the Canadians, playing like they did when they routed the Norwegians 6-1 in their previous game.

Elusive equaliser
  
Brodeur looked shaky for Canada as he seemed to overhandle the puck several times and had trouble seeing shots through players' legs and sticks.

He got unnerved on Bobby Ryan's second period goal after David Backes, American forward, bumped into him the crease.

Crosby took a pass from Rick Nash and scored with just over three minutes left to pull Canada to within a goal, 4-3.

The Canadians then buzzed the American goal in the final moments but failed to get the equaliser.

Source:
Agencies
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