Team Canada cuts it close

Crosby goal in shootout needed to edge feisty Switzer­land

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY BILL BEA­CON

Mar­leau scored for Canada while Ivo Ruthe­man and Pa­trick von Gun­ten had goals for Switzer­land in reg­u­la­tion time.

The Swiss have only two NHL play­ers, cap­tain Mark Streit and Hiller, but they bat­tled even up for most of the game and gave Canada a scare.

Olympic rules give three points for a win and only two for a win in over­time or a shootout, so Canada has five points from two games, one be­hind the United States, who im­proved to 2-0-0 with a 6-1 win over Nor­way.

Canada closes the round-robin por­tion of the Games on Sun­day against the Amer­i­cans while Switzer­land, which earned one point, next plays Nor­way.

If re­venge was on Canada’s mind, it didn’t look it with a slug­gish, ten­ta­tive start. Canada trailed 7-6 in shots mid­way through the first pe­riod against a hard-work­ing and sur­pris­ingly phys­i­cal Swiss team.

And al­though they forced the Swiss to take three penal­ties, they failed to score or even gen­er­ate many chances with the man ad­van­tage to the dis­may of the full house at Canada Hockey Place. RICH­MOND, B.C. — A small slip at the start, a wave of panic, and then the demons came out for Chris­tine Nes­bitt.

“Oh no, I’m not on a good race,” she thought. “I’m not go­ing to be on the podium even.”

Men­tally, things weren’t right, and tech­ni­cally they weren’t much bet­ter mere mo­ments into her 1,000-me­tre long-track speed­skat­ing race Thurs­day, an event she was heav­ily favoured in and pretty much had to win.

Less than 24 hours ear­lier, team­mate and train­ing part­ner Denny Mor­ri­son of Fort St. John, B.C., had strug­gled badly in the men’s 1,000 and left the Rich­mond Olympic Oval fu­ri­ous at him­self, looking for an­swers.

If Nes­bitt also failed, it would have left a team counted on for nine medals to help the coun­try Own the Podium at the Van­cou­ver Olympics in a deep, deep rut.

“ We needed to go get the big one, a gold medal, to set the stage for the rest of the team,” her coach, Marcel Lacroix, ad­mit­ted.

Go get it Nes­bitt did, sta­bi­liz­ing her­self mid­way through her race, chas­ing down race pair Monique Anger­muller of Ger­many and putting up a time of one minute 16.56 sec­onds to take

The Cana­dian Press

Canada's Sid­ney Crosby, right, looks on as his shot goes past Switzer­land goal­tender Jonas Hiller in a shootout dur­ing men's Olympic hockey action at the 2010 Win­ter Olympic Games in Van­cou­ver, B.C. Thurs­day. Team Canada went on to win the game 3-2.

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