SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Rivalries make sports fun! And few rivalries match the passion and competitive fight of USA vs. Canada.
The two countries meet on Olympic ice in Sochi, Russia Friday evening. The Canadians shut out the U.S., 1-0. The only goal coming in the 2nd Period.
Russia and the west coast of the United States may be 12 hours apart on the clock, but hockey fans made it to the bar to cheer on Team USA. The Press Room pub in downtown Santa Barbara opened early for the 9 a.m. puck drop.
Canada will now face Sweden, which earlier Friday defeated Finland 2-1 in the other semifinal game at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. The Swedes won the gold medal in 2006 and 1994.
The U.S. will face the Finns, who won bronze in 2010, for the bronze medal on Saturday.
Both the U.S. and Canada came into the game undefeated, with the Americans' biggest test coming in their 3-2 shootout victory over Russia last weekend.
The American men's Friday loss came on the heels of Canada's shocking comeback Thursday in the women's hockey gold medal game that sent the U.S. team home with the silver medal. The women's team had led 2-0 late in the game, but the Canadians scored two goals in the last three and a half minutes of regulation and then won the game 3-2 in overtime.
The Canadian men beat the U.S. in the gold medal game at both the 2010 and 2002 Winter Games and now have a head-to-head Olympic record of 12-3-3 against Team USA. The Canadians also hold the edge in overall Olympic men's hockey medals, 14 overall with eight golds, compared to two golds and 11 overall medals for the U.S.
Team USA has not won a gold medal in men's hockey since the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.