CAN vs. NOR: Norge, Canada exchange quick goals in third period

by Feb 13, 1:49 PM

Norway is on the board! 

Following a puck handling error by Canadian goaltender Carey Price, Norwegian forward Matthias Olimb scored a power-play goal with a shot from the top of the circle that was wildly deflected at the goal mouth. 

Because Canada, of course, couldn't allow that to stand: Drew Doughty promptly answered with a lovely backhand finish less than 90 seconds later.

Feb 13, 2:21 PM

CAN 3, NOR 1: Canada defeats Norge more narrowly than anticipated

by Feb 13, 2:21 PM

The Canadian men's ice hockey team made their Sochi debut on Thursday, facing-off against Norge in a preliminary round match-up. While the result was never seriously in doubt and Canada dominated the flow of play and the chance battle, it wasn't exactly the explosive high-octane offensive performance many had been anticipating. 

Though the Norwegians spent the majority of the game in their own end, and scored their only goal thanks to a puck-handling error and a lucky deflection (the goal was eventually credited to Patrick Thoresen); they played hard and with a 3-1 result against the tournament favorites can hold their heads high. 

At the very least they improved significantly when compared with their performance against Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics:

Team Canada meanwhile played a heavy cycle game and did well to control the puck and the majority of on-ice events. If there was any cause for concern it was on the power-play, where the Canadian side managed only one power-play scoring chance in four minutes of 5-on-4 ice-time. 

Team Canada will be back at it in Group B action on Friday, when they face Michael Grabner, Thomas Vanek and the Austrian men's ice hockey team.

Feb 13, 1:30 PM

CAN vs. NOR: Weber, Benn put Canada up two after dominant second period

by Feb 13, 1:30 PM

With its team scoreless through 20 minutes and not outplaying a significantly weaker Norwegian side by as much as expected, restlessness was beginning to set in across Canada.

That spell was broken, however, when defenseman Shea Weber hammered home a cannon slap shot from the point to score Canada's first goal of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Jamie Benn then scored Canada's second goal of the game roughly nine minutes later with a wicked wrist shot that Norge netminder Lars Haugen had absolutely no chance on.

In all, the Canadian team out-shot the Norwegians 14-2 in the second period, and recorded 13 scoring chances to just one for their opponent. If Team Canada can maintain that form in the third period, expect the final score to be more lopsided than 2-0.

Feb 13, 12:52 PM

CAN vs. NOR: Canada tepid, tied with Norway after one period

by Feb 13, 12:52 PM

The Canadian men's ice hockey team got off to a tepid start in the men's ice hockey tournament at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Through 20 minutes of its tournament opening tilt against Norge, Canada's quality has yet to really show through - either on the shot-clock or the the scoreboard - and the game remains tied at nil-nil.

The Norwegians mobbed the Canadians in the defensive end, piling on Rick Nash in the slot in one memorable sequence during the period. Meanwhile, Norwegian captain Kristian-Ole Tollefsen delivered several significant blows to the likes of Jonathan Toews and Jonathan Tavares. 

While the Canadian team generated better and more quality looks (Canada has out-chanced Norge five-to-three through 20 minutes), they've yet to solve netminder Lars Haugen. Meanwhile an anxious, hockey-obsessed nation begins to get antsy and unduly critical, impatient for Canada to breakthrough and score its first goal.

Feb 13, 11:49 AM

CAN vs. NOR: Canada will begin their gold medal defense against Norway

by Feb 13, 11:49 AM

Team Canada men's ice hockey team are the reigning Olympic gold medallists, and the 2014 team represents the most star studded collection of talent that you'll find at this tournament, or at any other. They'll kick off their gold medal defense against Norge on Thursday in Sochi.

Canada lucked into an easy draw at the men's ice hockey event, and won't face a serious test until they play Finland this coming Sunday. Against Norge, they'll be expected to win and win big. 

They're likely to do accomplish that too. This Canadian team is built like a machine: nearly all of the wingers and defenders will play on their strong side (the only exceptions are Rick Nash and Patrick Sharp, who will play on the same line). Expect Canada to emphasize the cycle game, and aim to control the puck. Against over-matched teams like Austria and Norway, they might control the puck to an unprecedented degree too.

Carey Price gets the nod for Canada on Thursday, while P.K. Subban, Mike Smith and Matt Duchene are the healthy scratches against Norway. 

Expect the Canadian team to treat their game on Thursday like a mix between a showcase for the sport of hockey, and a tune-up. Even though Canada's top-nine will feature three "pairs" who play together in the National Hockey League, this remains a disparate group that has been cobbled together in just three practices and is expected to be the best right off the bat. 

Expecting instant chemistry might be a bit too much, but against Norway, it shouldn't matter. The giant dirigible goal lights will surely flicker across the great white north on Thursday.

Read more about the Canadian and Norwegian men's ice hockey teams.

Team Canada Olympic Preview
Team Norge Olympic Preview
Carey Price starts Thursday; Luongo plays Friday
Why scratching P.K. Subban is a mistake