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Price to start for Canada in hockey opener against Norway

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CBC
2/12/2014 3:32:27 PM
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SOCHI — Carey Price will play in goal for Team Canada in its Olympic opener against Norway on Thursday, while Roberto Luongo will get the call against Austria on Friday.

It's up the two of them to determine which goalie will start against Finland on Sunday.

Canadian men's head coach Mike Babcock said there was no reason for his decision.

Babcock informed his goalies, including the team's third goalie, Mike Smith, of the decision in face-to-face meetings on Wednesday morning.

"I'm really thrilled and ready to go," Price said.

"Our preparations have been really good so far. All three of knew that if we were called upon, we'd be ready to get in there."

Price enters the Olympics on a roll. He won his final three starts with the Montreal Canadiens before the break, stopping 100 of 103 shots, including a 5-2 victory over Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks in Montreal on Feb. 6.

Luongo and the Canucks, meanwhile, have struggled with seven straight losses. Luongo has been in goal for five of those defeats and has won only three of his last 10 starts. The Canucks netminder was in goal when Canada won gold in Vancouver four years ago.

"Oh, it didn't matter," said Luongo, when asked about the decision to start with Price.

"I think right now it's just focusing on Norway, that's the first challenge for our team. I've got to be ready, you never know what can happen in the game. I don't want to look too far ahead right now. I just want to focus on tomorrow, making sure that as a group, not only myself, that we're ready to play."

Price was asked to look down the road to possibly getting the start against Finland

"All I'm concerned about is our game tomorrow," he said. "That's all that matters."

Because of Canada's roster size, Smith will be joined on the sidelines by a defenceman and forward. But Babcock would not divulge who the two scratches will be.

Canada practiced for the third time and once again kept their lines the same as they prepare to open the competition on Thursday.

Here are Wednesday's practice lines with extra players in parenthesis:

FORWARDS

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Jeff Carter
Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Rick Nash
Patrick Marleau - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Jamie Benn - John Tavares - Patrice Bergeron
(Martin St. Louis, Matt Duchene)

DEFENCE

Duncan Keith - Shea Weber
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Drew Doughty
(P.K. Subban, Dan Hamhuis)

Team Canada also practiced 5-on-3 on Wednesday with Crosby, Kunitz and Perry up front with Getzlaf and Weber on the point of the first unit and Carter, Tavares and Marleau up front with Keith and Doughty on the point of the second unit.



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