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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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cargabma February 11 2014 at 2:35 AM

From Boston:

I hope they do not go with Ryan Miller in goal. He has seen more rubber this year in Buffalo

than a Tire Store!

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1 reply
e.gorog cargabma February 11 2014 at 7:11 AM

Maybe because the team itself sucks? If you knew anything about statistics or the sport you'd know on average he see's more shots then any goaltender yet has one of the HIGHEST ratios still in the league, if that doesn't show a world-class goaltender, your just another idiot riding the Boston stick.

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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
dav4281965 February 11 2014 at 12:32 AM

hey jerkey-Boy if you know anything about Hockey you would know that they are pro hockey players

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sstuczynsk February 11 2014 at 8:55 AM

Good Luck Team USA. Bring home the gold!

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dbpearce0946 February 11 2014 at 12:15 AM

Go for it, Big Fans Behind You!!!!,,,,,,,USA,,,,USA,,,,,USA HOCKEY!!!!

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coinguy804 February 11 2014 at 5:58 AM

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

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frosty3043 February 10 2014 at 11:38 PM

Lets just cheer them on , send them positive vibes and let them know we are behind them all the way.. GOOOOOOO USA HOCKEY!!!!! WE love you and wish you well. BIG HUGS TO ALL OF YOU.

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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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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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