Carey Price to start for Team Canada vs. Norway
Men's hockey team opens Sochi Olympic tournament on Thursday
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.