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Team USA Falls to Canada, 4-1

By USA Hockey, 02/16/98, 8:00AM MST


NAGANO, Japan - Forward Keith Primeau scored two goals and Joe Sakic added a goal and two assists to lead Canada past the United States, 4-1, here Monday afternoon in the XVIII Olympic Winter Games men's ice hockey tournament. Goaltender Patrick Roy, who is a teammate of Sakic's with the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche, made 30 saves to preserve the victory for Canada.

With the victory, Canada (3-0-0) secured first place in the final Group D round-robin standings, while the United States (1-2-0) finished in third place in Group D. As the #1 seed from Group D, Canada will meet Kazakhstan, the #4 seed from Group C, in Wednesday's quarterfinal round. The United States, the #3 seed from Group D, will play the #2 seed from Group C either Russia or the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Canada opened the scoring at 16:30 of the first period when forward Rob Zamuner took a feed from Wayne Gretzky and deposited a shot from close range past United States goaltender Mike Richter (New York Rangers/Abington, Pa.). The goal came just :14 after Zamuner had returned to the ice after serving a two-minute penalty for holding.

Canada pushed its lead to 2-0 at 13:37 of the second period when Primeau scored the first of his two goals a disputed, short-handed tally that came while teammate Steve Yzerman was crashing into Richter.

Sakic deposited a rebound at 18:19 of the second period to give Canada a 3-0 lead, and Primeau registered his second goal of the game six minutes into the third period to give Team Canada a four-goal advantage.

Forward Brett Hull (St. Louis Blues/Belleville, Ontario) scored for the United States at 14:04 of the third period to make the final score 4-1. Hull's goal was assisted by forward Doug Weight (Edmonton Oilers/Warren, Mich.).

Richter made 21 saves for the United States, but suffered his second loss in the XVIII Olympic Winter Games.

Team Canada 1 2 1 4
Team USA 0 0 1 1

First period -- Scoring: 1, CAN, Zamuner (Gretzky, Sakic), 16:30. Penalties: Gretzky, CAN (interference), 9:50; Sakic, CAN (slashing), 13:56; Zamuner, CAN (holding), 14:16.

Second period -- Scoring: 2, CAN, Primeau (Yzerman), 13:37 (sh). 3, CAN, Sakic (Fleury), 18:19. Penalties: Zamuner, CAN (holding), 13:25; Yzerman, CAN (high sticking), 13:42; Weight, USA (high sticking), 13:42.

Third period -- Scoring: 4, CAN, Primeau (Recchi, Sakic), 6:00. 5, USA, Hull (Weight), 14:04. Penalties: Langenbrunner, USA (interference), 1:22; Blake, CAN (roughing), 15:26; Roenick, USA (roughing), 15:26.

Shots on goal USA 10-11-10 31. CAN 5-13-7 25.
Goalies Richter, USA (25 shots, 21 saves). Roy, CAN (31 shots, 30 saves).
Attendance 10,076.