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Coyote Tracks - Thursday February 25 Edition

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USA USA USA!!!  The US men squeked by some solid goaltending and hard hitting from the Swiss team to earn their right to play for a medal.  They will play Finland in the semifinals.  Both teams won 2-0 after scoring 2 goals in the third period (one an empty-netter).  The Czechs struggled to generate offense and took WAY too many penalties which eventually cost them.  I will blame it on the lack of ice time for Z who didn't start to get regular shifts until the third period.  (Slovakia and Sweden just started as I'm writing this and I'm too tired to stay up to the conclusion)...

As for the marquee matchup between Russia and Canada, Mike Milbury put it, Russia didn't exactly bring their A game.  The Canadians fed off the adrenaline of their win over Germany and blitzkrieged the Russians with 3 quick goals to start the was 4-1 at the first intermission, and I think most of us in Phoenix thought that Nabokov would be pulled after giving up a pretty weak goal to Brendan Morrow and Ilya Bryzgalov would start the second.  For whatever reason, the Russian coaches decided to let the deficit increase to 6-1 before Bryz got the call.  Bryz was solid the rest of the way, but the Russians couldn't find enough offense and fell 7-3.

As for the Coyotes, it was back to the ice for the non-Olympians, and it sounds like the first day back was a doozy...

Wellander finds oasis in desert - Welland Tribune - Ontario, CA
A nice story about Paul Bissonnette's year in Phoenix...

Coyotes' Michalek adjusting to Olympic role
To echo the sentiment from above...Z just got no love this Olympics :(

Coyotes' MacLean grateful for call-up from minors
As most will know by now, Schlemko, MacLean and Gistedt were recalled by Phoenix over the past 2 days.  It's mostly to fill the roster spots vacated by Z, LePisto and Bryz for the practices, but Tippett is likely giving MacLean a good look since he missed him during training camp and he's played well in San Antonio (and his juniors numbers playing with John Tavares are sick).

Ok, US-Canada women's gold medal game is today...Coyotes continue to hit the ice and hopefully the news picks up too a bit...