In the greatest match-up day for Olympic hockey, Team USA faces Canada for bragging rights and a shot for gold.
While it is not a medal round, the loser of this game will likely have to play an extra game to move into the final rounds. But this game is so much more than just seeding. In a rivalry that spawned when there were only 6 teams in the NHL, 4 of them being US teams, and has amplified with the Suter-Gretzky rivalry and various competitions with mixed results, this may be the most important game either one of these teams play in this Olympics.
Every expert agrees that this game will be close, most predicting that the end score will be within two goals of each other. But the winner of the game is still contested.
USA must win this game in regulation if they hope to get the bye. While both teams have won both games they've played, Canada is a point behind from the shootout win they had against Switzerland. If Team USA wins the game in regulation, they'll earn the bye that puts them in the final seed. If it goes into a shootout, Canada will tie the points and win the bye because they've scored more goals in their last two games.
This game is just one of three iconic match-ups. Russia has already defeated the Czech Republic in a physical game, with an end score of 4-2. Later tonight, rivals Sweden and Finland will face off for bragging rights. But first, the game that matters.... USA and Canada.
I'll do my best to present the game this live blog, but I hope you have the opportunity to watch this game live, as it promises to be incredible.
USA! USA! USA!