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With all due respect to their first two opponents, Canada faced Norway and Austria to begin their tournament, two teams they should have easily beaten, and they did - at least the latter they did. But now, Team Canada wraps up their preliminary schedule against a Finland team who will be their bigger test to date. Both teams enter their Sunday morning matchup undefeated with Group A supremacy on the line.
Entering Sunday, the Finnish have scored 14 goals, five more than Team Canada. Conversely, the Canadians have allowed one goal thus far next to Finland's five. But the past is the past and this matchup will be all about who can win the pool and stay undefeated.
For Finland, they have had great goaltending from Dallas's Kari Lehtonen, great defense from, among others, Sami Salo and veteran leadership in Olli Jokinen and 41-year-old Teemu Selanne who despite his age, is showing no signs of slowing down. Even without the services of an injured Mikko Koivu, Finland has proven that they belong in the same breath as Canada and the United States.
As for Canada, the biggest question heading into Sunday is who will start between the pipes. Both Carey Price and Roberto Luongo have played great in their respective appearances thus far. Despite picking up the shutout last game, Luongo did have a plethora of offensive support with six goals. Price, meanwhile, had to be very sharp in his game against Norway having just a two-goal lead to work with on Thursday. Which netminder will start will be decided at game time.
Offensively, the Canadians have been led by a pair of defensemen in Shea Weber and Los Angeles's Drew Doughty who each enter Sunday's contest with two goals each. Then, there's the Kings' other representative for Canada, Jeff Carter, who scored a natural hat trick on Friday versus Austria. Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf has also played well, including a goal last game.
It's the best of the best in Group A as each country is as determined as the other to win Group A. We'll see which side comes out on top.
Enjoy the game!