Cute turns ugly for Team USA

"They played that grinding kind of game a little bit better than we did," Backes said. "And the result is a 1-0 game. My line's on the ice for that goal against, and [I] feel some real responsibility for that and, unfortunately, didn't create enough to get that one back tonight."

In earlier games, the U.S. displayed an impressive combination of skill and grit that produced glittering scoring chances all four games. But the Canadians, by far the best defensive team in the tournament, didn't allow that to happen Friday.

"They played well. We didn't do enough to get traffic in front of [Price] and find second, third chances where we've been scoring pucks all around the paint all tournament," Backes added. "And [we] didn't do that tonight, and the result is that he sees a lot of pucks and catches them, kills plays, gets faceoffs and we don't get that sustained zone time that we needed to create goals and [Price] gets a goose egg tonight. It's tough to win when you don't score goals."

The bronze-medal game is historically a great test of character, demanding that teams quickly put aside disappointment and anger from a semifinal loss and refocus on a new challenge. If the Americans learned a hard lesson once again from their Canadian colleagues in the semifinal game, it will be interesting to see whether what was learned can be applied against Finland.

"It's one more time to wear this red, white and blue for our country and hopefully bring home some hardware and do it proud," Backes said. "That's really what our sights are on now. It's obviously a sick feeling that we didn't get the job done tonight but we've got one more chance to ? make this trip worth it."

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