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Women’s hockey: Americans return to Olympic finale

By Elliott Almond
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 am in Uncategorized.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Angela Ruggiero was 17 when the United States upset Canada in Nagano, Japan, for the first women’s hockey gold medal in 1998. She was there when Canada repeated the favor in Salt Lake City four years later.

And then again in 2006 when Sweden upset the Americans in the semifinals. And, yes, there she was Monday when the United States swamped Sweden 9-1 to reach the gold-medal match that will be played Thursday at Canada Place.

“Honestly, we still have more in the tank,” she said. “I don’t think that was our best hockey.”

The U.S. men’s and women’s teams ate together recently when Ruggiero brought up the Salt Lake Games in 2002. Canada men’s and women’s teams defeated the host Americans for a hockey gold-medal sweep.

“There would be nothing better to repeat that but switch the page,” she said.

That’s going to be difficult to achieve as Canada is supposed to win gold medals in both tournaments.

Ruggiero doesn’t care.

“There is no better hockey game to play in than a U.S.-Canada game,” she said. “I keep saying it’s like Christmas.”

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