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LIVE BLOG: Canada opens up its Sochi 2014 gold quest against Norway (Men's Hockey)

Sidney Crosby takes a lap in preparation for Canada
Sidney Crosby takes a lap in preparation for Canada's gold medal final against the United States, during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons (author s.yume)

It starts today. Canada reignites its quest for Olympic gold, a very long but incredible short four years after winning the medal in Vancouver. The competition is stiff, in the form of 2010 silver medallist and arch-rival Team USA, Sochi's home ice-advantaged Russia, the plucky Finns, the smooth Swedes, and a crop of talented players spread across Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Austria. But, without even further ado...

Game 1: Canada vs. Norway

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The victors leave the ice. Canada outshoots Norway 38-20. Carey Price gets the win.

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END... Canada wins 3-1 over Norway in Olympic hockey opener

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END...

Canada closes out the game shorthanded. A win for Carey Price. Goals from Drew Doughty, Jamie Benn, and Shea Weber. Shots 38-20 for the canucks.

Norway's Mats Zuccarello and captain Ole-Kristian Tollefsen leads the way.

FINAL: Canada 3, Norway 1

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1:30, 3rd period – With under two minutes left, Norway goes on a two-minute powerplay.

This game will either end 3-2 or 3-1 for Canada, and that's a terrific result for the Norwegians, shot count be damned.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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2:07, 3rd period – Despite looking like The Monstars vs The Looney Tunes, this had been a well-fought, competitive game between Canada and Norway.

Shots, almost 38-19 for Canada.

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3:30, 3rd period – Via the CBC's Chris Simpson, prior to this game Canada had outscored Norway 37-3 in Olympic competition.

A 3-1 final would be an exceptional result for Norway. 4-1 would, too.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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5:01, 3rd period – With a few minutes left, my Internet decided to have some fun with me.

Updates may be slow from now on. But it would take a miracle for Norway to win this thing.

#PullTheGoalie

3-1 Canada, Norway

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7:43, 3rd period – Chris Kunitz just got a penalty for a hit from behind. Only gets two minutes, but could have carried a 10-minutes misconduct, too.

Now we know the difference from the NHL to International. In North America, that's a love tap... maybe two minutes.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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8:59, 3rd period – Corey Perry taken down in front of Norway's net by a knee-on-knee from Norway's Forsberg. He's slow to get up, limps to the bench.

Perry likes to embellish, but that one looked pretty genuine.

Canada goes back to the powerplay, and Shea Weber is cocking his gun.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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9:51, 3rd period – Jeff Carter breaks his stick on a right-wing shot attempt. Goes for a change.

Basically, this is an exhibition game. "Nah, bro. You go ahead. Take my shift."

3-1 Canada, Norway

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11:07, 3rd period – Rick Nash is robbed twice by Lars Haugen.

First, while tripped on a breakway. (No penalty.)

Then, on a wraparound started by Jonathan Toews.

Canada controlling, but still leads 3-1.

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12:54, 3rd period – Vancouver Canucks d-man Dan Hamhuis (Smithers, B.C.) now playing with Drew Doughty.

Just had a slick point shot stopped by Haugen's glove.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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14:38, 3rd period – Sure, sportsmanship is important. But who doesn't want to see Canada run this thing up to 7-1 or something?

Canada has settled down a little bit and slowed the pace.

We're finally starting to notice individual players, not just blurs of red and white.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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16:34, 3rd period – Canada has been holding the puck ever since Norway's first goal. A solid shift from defenders Dan Hamhuis and Alex Pietrangelo, playing with forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Martin St. Louis.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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18:13, 3rd period – CANADA GOAL!!

Drew Doughty just walked around the entire Norwegian team and put a backhand up high over Haugen's right shoulder.

Assists to Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Marleau.

3-1 Canada, Norway

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19:10, 3rd period – NORWAY GOAL!!

Norway's on the board, via a wrist shot and (what looked like) a tip in from Patrick Thoresen (#41).

Mattias Olimb gets the credit for now. A powerplay goal.

2-1 Canada, Norway

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19:53, 3rd period – Norway starts the period almost an entire powerplay, and Mats Zuccarello has played over 16 minutes.

2-0 Canada, Norway

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2nd intermission – Oh, we travel.

2-0 Canada leads Norway through two periods.

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2nd intermission – This is what I think, in under 140 characters:

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0:27, 2nd period – Duncan Keith takes a penalty, hooking someone down as they beat him and try to drive the net.

Where have we Canucks fans seen that before?

2-0 Canada, Norway

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0:51, 2nd period – Marty St. Louis gets a look with Crosby and Kunitz. That would be a beautiful friendship, if it lasted for the rest of these Games.

St. Louis has been Canada's most dynamic player so far.

2-0 Canada, Norway

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1:56, 2nd period – Canada kills that penalty pretty easily.

Norway appears to be trying to just slow the red-and-white express down at this point. They're doing a good job, but they're even doing it on their own powerplay...

1-0 Canada, Norway

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(3:35, 2nd period – No VIDEO highlights yet from CBC's YouTube page. Something tells me they're trying to document this game as frantically as I am.)

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3:57, 2nd period – Patrick Sharp goes to the box for hooking.

That had as much to do with Mats Zuccarello's speed to get away from him as did with Sharp's stick.

2-0 Canada, Norway

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4:39, 2nd period – CANADA GOAL!!!

Jamie Benn finishes off a nice pass from Patrice Bergeron and rifles it near-side past Haugen.

2-0 Canada, Norway

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5:50, 2nd period – Crosby is looking for Kunitz in Norway's zone.

Something tells me, Norway is predicting that as much as we viewers are.

1-0 Canada, Norway

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6:20, 2nd period – Sorry, bud

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6:35, 2nd period – Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. He's basically Norway's Niklas Kronwall.

Jamie Benn absorbs a solid hit. Martin St. Louis is still looking nifty. Haugen made another nice save off the Perry-Getzlaf connection. It's still...

1-0 Canada, Norway

8:25, 2nd period – This Tweet is pretty much what the second period has looked like...

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8:25, 2nd period – Sidney Crosby gets cocky, is pokechecked trying to embarrass a Norweigian defender... of course, he then turned around and made an incredible pass through a bunch of skates to Corey Perry.

Perry's shot stopped by Haugen.

1-0 Canada, Norway

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9:15, 2nd period – A WILD series of bounces in front of Norway's net... Haugen stops some combination or Toews, Sharp, and Nash in rabid fire.

1-0 Canada, Norway

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10:36, 2nd period – Common sense suggests that Matt Duchene will replace Martin St. Louis in Game 2, because St. Louis was the last one picked for Team Canada.

But add Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Benn to that mix. Both have played well, but have also played with St. Louis.

This is as much an audition as it is an opportunity.

1-0 Canada, Norway

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12:15, 2nd period – The monkey's off Canada's back, and Chris Kunitz just had another nice chance for the canucks.

You've gotta figure, despite how well he has played, that Norway's goalie Haugen has never seen a shot as fast as that blast from Weber.

1-0 Canada, Norway

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13:30, 2nd period – CANADA GOAL!

Shea Weber blasts one from the blueline and Canada goes up 1-0.

(*Jamie Benn with a solid play to draw a penalty, using his strength and stickhandling to drive the net. Weber scores on the delayed call.)

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16:01, 2nd period – The most instant Canadian chemistry so far has to be between Toews-Sharp and Rick Nash.

A nice try from Nash stopped by Haugen, who's having himself a game.

0-0 Canada, Norway

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18:15, 2nd period – Another nice chance for Corey Perry. He's been looking strong – in spurts – so far.

Patrick Marleau led all Canadians with three shots in the 1st period.

Meanwhile, I'm pretty Norway's Olimb brothers just locked themselves up a couple NHL contracts. #NorwaysDiceK

0-0 Canada, Norway

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18:55, 2nd period – For all that's been made of Chris Kunitz's feeding off Sidney Crosby, he's clearly a solid winger for any NHL centre. A nice chance from the right wing for Kuny. (I'm going to start calling him Kuny.)

0-0 Canada, Norway

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1st intermission – TWEETS...

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1st intermission – There are three former Kelowna Rockets playing for Canada right now – Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, and Jamie Benn. Not bad, Ogopogo.

Jamie Benn for Team Canada

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1st intermission – Best players for Canada so far?

I'm pretty sure Duncan Keith has played the entire period. Martin St. Louis and Corey Perry have had a couple strong shifts. Jeff Carter has fit in with Crosby and Kunitz... but have they fit in with him?

0-0 Canada, Norway

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1st intermission – By the way, Don Cherry's prediction for this game was Canada, 7-1.

That sounds a little far-fetched, because it's obviously 0-0 right now. But, in 2010, Canada didn't score until the second period and ultimately won, 8-0.

So, basically, we're just warming up.

Yeah! TAKE THAT, NORWAY! You're going DOWN!

#Oslonely

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0:00, 1st intermission – Canada "outshoots" Norway, 9-8. Score still tied at zero. I would love to put some analysis here during the 1st intermission, but I need a coffee.

Also, was that, like, the fastest first period you've ever seen, or what?

0-0 Canada, Norway

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0:45, 1st period – Carey Price just killed a penalty for Canada.

0-0 Canada, Norway

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2:45, 1st period – Powerplay coming up for Norway. Ryan Getzlaf takes a penalty for Canada.

At this point, not even a 2-0 lead off two shorthanded goals would satisfy Canadians. But keep in mind, Norway has 24 hours a day to prepare for Canada, and they have YouTube to help them.

How is Canada supposed to even get ready for Norway?

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3:45, 1st period – A couple good chances for Canada there, with point shots from Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Buowmeester.

(By the way, can you name two people with tougher names to spell? Why are they both teammates? WHY ARE THEY LINEMATES?!)

0-0 Canada, Norway

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4:54, 1st period – Patrick Sharp tries to jam the puck in at the side of the net, past goaltender Haugen, while sliding around the crease.

No goal.

Still 0-0 for Canada, Norway

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5:43, 1st period – A strong shift from Norway is followed up by a rush from Sidney Crosby and Jeff Carter. No goal, with Crosby tripped heading to the net for Carter's pass.

The refs are letting everything go, pretty much. It's nice, actually. (Just not for Norway.)

0-0 Canada, Norway

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6:30, 1st period – Still scoreless, with a nice bit of flair from Martin St. Louis off the right wing. Canada looks to be getting comfortable now, and are exploiting Norway on the boards and behind the net.

Meanwhile, Mats Zuccarello is on his bench, coaching Norway's players... and Norway's coaches.

0-0 Canada, Norway

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This is what they look like...

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8:35, 1st period – A couple more chances for Canada, a couple more nice saves from Norway's goalie Haugen.

Also, the first appearance – I think? – from Dan Hamhuis and Martin St. Louis, who are both expected to sit when Canada plays Austria in Game 2.

0-0 Canada, Norway

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10:30, 1st period – Despite the struggles, the big ice looks to be a non-issue for Canada. You can't even tell from the TV, and the Canucks look faster – when they need to be than Norway.

11:26, 1st period – Canada has one chance on this powerplay, a left-side shot from Sidney Crosby.

Other than that, Norway has basically killed every chance the Canadians had and, when they haven't, they have just waited to Canada to clear the zone for them.

0-0 Canada, Norway

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(9:15 a.m. – In case you're wondering, that played for Norway is OLIMB. Mattias Ohlund does not play for Norway now.)

9:15 a.m. – The Canadians are being out-skated and out-hustled by Norway, with a couple lone red-and-white chances for Alex Pietrangelo and Jeff Carter.

9:13 a.m. – Patrick Thoresen (#41) with a left-wing chance for Norway, a low shot that hit Carey Price in his five-hole. Solid saved for the Habs goalie... you know, considering that it's early.

9:12 a.m. – Not so different from that Norway/Canada opener in 2010. The Canucks opened the scoring in the second period in that game and the lines changed wildly from Game 1 to that gold medal final against the States.

9:10 a.m. – Norway gets the best chances of the game so far, a spinning shot from the slot by... Number 51. (Alex Pietrangelo has Canada's best chance so far, which was pretty easily saved by Lars Haugen, who plays for the KHL's Dynamo Minsk.)

9:09 a.m. – This really is like watching a #1 play a #16 in March Madness. Norway playing well right now, using some neutral zone speed. It won't last, but that's cool.

9:07 a.m. – Norway's entire team salary is something like $1.2 million, according to the CBC's Heather Hiscox. I have a feeling that entire number is taken up by Mats Zuccarello.

9:06 a.m. – Canada starts with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Rick Nash. I guess I'd take that. (Sharp basically replaces Mike Richards, who played with Toews and Nash in 2010.)

8:58 a.m. – Don Cherry says he believes Roberto Luongo will start Game 2 (against Austria) and will then finish the tournament as Canada's starter. The reason? Because "he's been there before." It's amazing, to me, how many people still fall for that. They said that about Martin Brodeur in 2010, and they said Curtis Joseph would be THE GUY in 2002.

Canada has always taken the hot goalie, regardless of international experience, whatever that really means.

8:56 a.m. – Don Cherry has a prediction. I wonder who he's cheering for. #jokes

8:54 a.m. - I just showered, and I have been watching TSN until I know for sure that I won't have to watch Canada flunk out of the short track speedskating. CBC has been replaying those highlights all morning, and I just can't stand to see Charles Hamelin suffer.

8:40 a.m. – Here's the warmup... (No idea who 'MoniKa Platek' is, but I think you for your service to our frothing country.)

8:35 a.m. – A debate on TSN's 'The Quiz' this morning, asking who needs this Gold medal more... Canada or Russia? How about the United States? This team just beat Slovakia 7-1, has picked up a silver medal in two of the last three Olympics – with two gold medal final losses to Canada – and a win now would go a long way to shotgunning that program forward.

Could the Americans be the team to beat very, very soon? (Are they already?)

8:20 a.m. – Rumour has it, Matt Duchene and P.K. Subban are sitting for Thursday's Game 1. This could mean they're on the outside looking in for the rest of Sochi. (Carey Price also gets the start over Roberto Luongo.) But Norway is also the weakest team in Canada's pool, behind both Finland (duh) and Austria (even the Austrians have NHL regulars like Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner).

Dan Hamhuis and Martin St. Louis will draw in today, which means they're probably out for Game 2 against Austria. They could be worse for them than it is for Duchene or Subban.

8:13 a.m. – Finland sorta whupped Austria, 8-4, this morning. But the Finns had to fight through a tight, tough first period. And Islander's forward Michael Grabner had a had trick for the Austrians...

8:10 a.m. – Russia roughed Slovania, but only slightly, 5-2. Slovania wins the uniform battle, though, with those sweet neon green numbers.

"Man, he was just a blur..."

8:07 a.m. – The Americans slaughtered the Slovakians today, 7-1. Phil Kessel had three points and Paul Stastny had two goals. I had Slovakia in my bronze medal game, in my predictions. I'm suddenly not so sure. Like, at all. (It should be noted, shots were only 33-23 for Team USA.)

8:05 a.m. – Rumour has it, Matt Duchene and P.K. Subban are sitting for Thursday's Game 1. This could mean they're on the outside looking in for the rest of Sochi. (Carey Price also gets the start over Roberto Luongo.) But Norway is also the weakest team in Canada's pool, behind both Finland (duh) and Austria (even the Austrians have NHL regulars like Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner).

Dan Hamhuis and Martin St. Louis will draw in today, which means they're probably out for Game 2 against Austria. They could be worse for them than it is for Duchene or Subban.

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