Carey Price to start in net for Canada’s quarterfinal hockey game

Watch the video above: Team Canada ready to raise its game for the elimination round

The starting goalie has been decided for Canada’s quarterfinals game in the men’s hockey tournament at Sochi, as has a surprising opponent.

In a result predicted by no one, Team Canada will face off against Latvia on Wednesday, after the Latvians beat Switzerland 3-1 in Tuesday’s qualifying game.

Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price will start in net, his third start of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Price stopped 19 of 20 shots in Canada’s win against Norway; he stopped 14 of 15 shots in the team’s overtime win against Finland on Sunday.

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L.A. Kings defenceman Drew Doughty scored Canada’s only goals in the game against Finland, including the game-winner halfway through the overtime period. So far in the Olympic tournament, six of Team Canada’s 11 goals have come from the blue line (Doughty has four, Shea Weber has two).

Team Canada’s lineup

Head coach Mike Babcock continued to play around with the lines during the team’s practice on Tuesday, with Chris Kunitz reuniting with captain Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron.

Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Toews and Jeff Carter continued to play on a line together.

Jamie Benn, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry rotated on a line during practice, as did Patrick Sharp, Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis and John Tavares.

Babcock kept his defensive pairs together during practice: Duncan Keith and Weber, Doughty with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Jay Bouwmeester with Alex Pietrangelo.

Babcock said he wouldn’t announce the team’s scratches until Wednesday.

Leading up to the quarterfinals

Canada’s play has improved with each game in the preliminary round of the tournament, but players and coaching staff agree, they’ll need to kick it up a notch once the playoffs begin.

“We’ve gotten better every game,” said Carter following Sunday’s game. “That was our goal coming into these three games, to improve every game and I think we’ve done that. I think we definitely have another gear and you’re going to see it here soon.”

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“The most important thing for me is that we get better as a team each and every day,” said Babcock in a press conference on Sunday. “If we get better as a team, we’re going to have an opportunity in the end to be successful.”

Finland proved to be a tougher challenge than Canada had faced yet in the tournament.

“It was a great test for us,” said Carter. “They’re fast, skilled and they played hard…They gave us a good game.”

In other hockey news

Four qualifying games are being played on Tuesday.

Slovenia beat Austria 4-0, they will now face Sweden on Wednesday. Russia beat Norway 4-0 in their qualifying game and will now play Finland in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic beat Slovakia 5-3 and will now play the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

Latvia won its first game of the Olympics, beating the favoured Swiss team 3-1.

READ MORE: Men’s hockey playoff schedule

With files from The Canadian Press


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