Posted: Friday February 22, 2002 1:23 AM
Updated: Friday February 22, 2002 8:29 PM
Team USA at home:
Salt Lake City
Totals: 21-1-3; 2 gold, 1 silver
Team USA on the road:
St. Moritz (Switz.)
Totals: 50-37-9; 5 silver, 1 bronze
By Jacob Luft, CNNSI.com
Home ice brings out the best in the U.S. men's hockey team.
Since losing 2-1 to Canada in the opener of the 1932 Lake Placid Games, Team USA has put together an unbeaten streak of 24 games that spans four Olympiads. The streak has produced two gold medals and a silver, with another gold within reach.
The 21-0-3 record includes two improbable defeats of the mighty Soviet machine that cruised to eight gold medals from 1956-92, with the only exceptions being Team USA's pair of victories in 1960 and '80. The Americans defeated the Russians again 3-2 Friday to advance to the gold-medal game against Cadada.
No other nation has won a gold medal on its own soil. In fact, only one country has earned a medal of any kind at home -- Switzerland with bronze in 1928 and '48. That is mostly because traditional hockey powers have rarely served as hosts.
Canada's only home Olympics was in 1988, when it finished fourth, and the Soviets/Russians have never played host to a Winter Olympics. Neither have Sweden, Czechoslovakia or Finland.
On the road, Team USA has been respectable, though not nearly as successful.
In the 15 Olympiads on foreign lands, the U.S. has compiled five silvers, a bronze and a record of 50-37-9. Since 1972, though, the U.S. has had six lackluster performances on the road.