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Vancouver still haunts the US men's hockey team



SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - The U.S. men's ice hockey team finally arrived in Sochi on Monday, determined to make amends for their loss in the gold medal game at the last Olympics in Vancouver.

A relatively young American team defied the odds to reach the final four years ago only to lose to Canada in overtime in a defeat that still stings.

"It was tough. Usually by the time you get the bitter taste of losing out of your mouth you're coming back to start another (National Hockey League) season," U.S. forward Patrick Kane told reporters.

"But that one took a little while to get over with. You know four, five, six months and then you're thinking about it in the summer."

Despite their lingering disappointment, goaltender Ryan Miller said there were still plenty of positives the Americans could take from the experiences they had in Vancouver.

They proved they could match it with any team, reaching the final undefeated, including a win over Canada in the preliminary round.

"That's part of the story that hasn't come out as much, just how quickly we came together and how positive we were and it's going to have to be the same feeling over here," Miller said.

"It's been a long delay, it would've been nice to get another crack earlier but for a lot of us, being on the team that year, it was definitely a disappointment to come that close."

The United States play their first game in Sochi on Thursday against Slovakia, followed by a heavyweight clash with Russia on Saturday before closing out the preliminary round versus Slovenia on Sunday.

While eager to get the 12-team tournament underway, the U.S. team was also wary about thinking too far ahead after a long flight from North America following the completion of their NHL commitments.

"These practices are important. Today was important to get a good sweat in and tomorrow and the next day are important," said forward Ryan Kesler.

"We got a good test against Slovakia and we got to play good and continue to get better."

With two more days of practices and a handful of media commitments, the next 48 hours could seem like an eternity for a squad that everyone will be watching closely this time.

"It did fly by, feels like it definitely wasn't four years ago," said U.S. Team captain Zach Parise.

"We're anxious, we're excited, but we know that just because we got silver last time there are no guarantees. We know how good these teams are."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Julian Linden)

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monica February 10 2014 at 11:23 PM

The US team isn't haunted at all. They are the US team...period. It is only them on the ice, NO ONE else.

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1 reply
kostas monica February 10 2014 at 11:31 PM

Its only them on the ice are they at practice?

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1 reply
jrchandler123 kostas February 10 2014 at 11:43 PM

You are reading to much in to it

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Mandoist February 11 2014 at 4:39 AM

"Haunting"??? This is a powerful team. Surely any proficient journalist can find more than conjecture and melodramatic non-news to write about.

I'll tell you what haunts me -- NBC. They get a '10' on the suck-o-meter.

I grew up watching ABC Sports' coverage of the Olympics. THAT was how you covered the Olympics my friends.

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1 reply
Lydia Mandoist February 11 2014 at 6:33 AM

Oh my I totally agree, this NBC coverage has been awful for the last number of Olympics it's been covering. ABC was the best in sports coverage for the Olympics. NBC only shows what they want to show....

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Mandoist February 11 2014 at 4:45 AM

What a lot of folks (USA fans) forget is that US NHL teams have mostly foreign players. Once they leave, to play for their respective countries, you're left with American players. The truth can be scary.

That said, I think the USA has a decent program this year.

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3 replies
coinguy804 February 11 2014 at 5:58 AM

Was a great win for Canada in Canada...............

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pdbliz February 11 2014 at 8:13 AM

What has American tv become...?????

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1 reply
MICHAEL pdbliz February 11 2014 at 9:42 AM

TRASH. like the people that watch it.

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sstuczynsk February 11 2014 at 8:55 AM

Good Luck Team USA. Bring home the gold!

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kevinbgood621 February 11 2014 at 12:11 PM

I am looking forward to the American hockey team play . I also am watching the Swedes , Russia , Slovakia play as our Red Wing team has players on those teams .

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madcap.1 February 11 2014 at 11:20 AM

when the american beat the russians and went on to win the gold, at least those kids could play hockey

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wavyvibes February 11 2014 at 10:18 AM

For the US to defeat Canada in a meaningful hockey match is like a Canadian pro football team defeating an NFL team in a meaningful game. Pretty difficult, but not impossible.

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efvann February 11 2014 at 9:58 AM

Seems that AOL and HuffPo are hard up for stories again. As usual. They need to try and report the news, not invent it.

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1 reply
Curt's Stuff efvann February 11 2014 at 10:06 AM

Or they could just make up news, like Fox.

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