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Benn Goal Pushes Canada To Gold-Medal Game

Price shuts the door on the United States making Benn's second period marker stand up.

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 2:45 PM ET / News
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer
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Benn Goal Pushes Canada To Gold-Medal Game

SOCHI -- Canada won the rematch that was four years in the making. Now it can try to win another gold medal.

Jamie Benn's goal early in the second period Friday at Bolshoy Ice Dome was all the Canadians needed to beat the United States 1-0 in the semifinals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics and a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game, also won by Canada by one goal.

Canada will play Sweden in the gold-medal game Sunday (7 a.m. ET, NBC, CBC). The Canadians have won two of the past three Olympic gold medals after going 50 years without one (1952-2002). The U.S. will play Finland for the bronze medal Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Carey Price had the shutout with 31 saves in a game that featured an electric pace, mostly controlled by the Canadians.

Special teams also played a big role in Canada's win Friday as its penalty kill was 3-for-3. The Canadians were 0-for-2 on the power play but it didn't matter as the Americans didn't generate much on their power play as the Canadians held them on the outside most of the time.

Benn scored his goal 1:41 into the second period off a sweet diagonal pas from Jay Bouwmeester. The Canadians had several chances on United States goalie Jonathan Quick after the goal but they couldn't extend the lead despite controlling the pace for the bulk of the game.

Quick made 36 saves, including nine in the third period. His best was a pad save on Chris Kunitz with just under six minutes remaining in the third period. It at least gave the Americans a chance to tie the game, something they could not do.

Canada had a 28-22 edge in shots on goal after 40 minutes; it was 16-11 after the first period.

Benn and Bouwmeester worked some magic to give Canada the lead.

The play started when Benn made a pretty backhanded pass to Bouwmeester from the right circle to the left point. Benn immediately dashed to the net and Bouwmeester delivered a picture-perfect diagonal pass from his spot at the left point toward the slot. The pass was right on Benn's stick and he redirected the puck into the net, past Quick's glove, for the only goal Canada would need.

The Canadians have played three one-goal games in the tournament and their forwards have scored seven goals in five games, but it has been just enough to get them to the precipice of another gold medal.

The U.S. had two power plays before the end of the second period but Canada killed both. Price also came up with a big pad save on Zach Parise's redirect attempt from the slot and Max Pacioretty had an opportunity from the right post after Patrick Kane fed him an opportunity from left side, but Canada defended it well.

Quick preserved the one-goal deficit for the Americans with a dazzling pad save on Benn at 14:05 of the second. He had to push off hard from his right to left to get his pad on Benn's one-timer from the lower part of the right circle with his glove. Quick then was able to cover the puck with his glove.

Canada controlled the play early in the game save for a quick flurry from the Americans. Sidney Crosby's line, which included Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kunitz, had three scoring chances on its first shift of the game.

Crosby also had a chance with his backhand during Canada's lone power play of the first period, but his shot hit Quick in the mask. Patrick Sharp tried to shoot the rebound in but Quick stopped that one too.

The pace at the start of the game was electric. Each team had nine shots on goal before 10 minutes had elapsed. Canada, though, controlled the pace and play for the second half of the first period and most of the second.

The Americans appeared to be trying to survive before Benn scored and then were chasing the game after the goal.

The Canadians wouldn't let them catch up.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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