U.S. tops Norway, looks to Sunday's game with Canada 

On this day it was good enough. But the United States men's hockey team knows what is in store on Sunday night if it repeats a sometimes shaky performance during a 6-1 win over Norway. In front of a partisan home crowd, Canada is unlikely to let goal-scoring opportunities slip away as the Norwegians did on Thursday afternoon.

For the Americans it was a win, their second of the tournament in as many games. Defenseman Brian Rafalski scored twice and forward Ryan Malone added another as the United States scored three times in the final seven minutes to break open a tight game.

But those late goals only masked a host of troubling defensive breakdowns, including a short-handed goal allowed in the second period that cut into a 3-0 lead.

"I thought we played real well in the first period and were able to dominate," said Team USA coach Ron Wilson, "We lost our focus a little, but the players really found their game the last 10 minutes of the third. We'll have to play with that focus we showed late against Norway to be successful against Canada."

Phil Kessel and Chris Drury each scored in the first period. Patrick Kane added another in the second to make it 3-0. Goalie Ryan Miller only faced 11 shots total from Norway, but still was called upon to bail his team out on a half-dozen quality scoring chances. He also became the first American goalie to register an assist in the Olympics.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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Brian McNally

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I've been given the chance to write about some of the best athletes in the world. Can't imagine a job more fun than that.
Teams I cover » Capitals, Nationals
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