Medal on Line as USA Hockey Faces Finns

For this upstart, overachieving, suddenly Cinderella-fied U.S. men's hockey team, one more win means they're taking medals home with them. 

It's back to the ice, with valuable neck wear on the line Friday at noon PST when the Yanks take on Finland in the playoff semifinals. The match will be broadcast online and shown live on NBC. Prepare for two-hour standstill, corporate America, because there's going to be a really awesome hockey game going on.

Should the U.S. win Friday, they're assured at least a silver and will play for it all in Sunday's gold medal match. Should they lose, they'll be competing for the bronze Saturday.

Either way, one more win for Team USA hockey guarantees a Sunday date at the podium and a further demolishing of the Canadians in the medal count.

These Finns are a stingy bunch, shutting out both the Germans and the Czechs to get to the playoff semifinals. But they've also lost to the very Swiss team that the U.S. beat 2-0 Wednesday.

Be aware that this Finnish team bounced the U.S. hockey team out of the previous Olympics in 2006 in Turin.

Saturday's bronze medal match will be at 7 p.m. PST Saturday, and the gold medal match will be at 12:15 PST Sunday. Both matches can be seen live online and on NBC.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who giggles for two minutes solid whenever an announcer uses the phrase "laying the lumber."
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