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US men see parallels to 1980 ‘Miracle On Ice’

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Tony Granato isn’t planning to show “Miracle” to his players as a source of inspiration.

“To win, we don’t need a miracle,” Granato said. “We need to be our best and to play our best for two weeks to win this tournament.”

NBCOlympics.com: Favored Russians ooze confidence, feel like ‘red machine’

Even so, members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team see parallels to the 1980 “Miracle On Ice” group that beat the Soviet Union and won the gold medal. Only 39-year-old captain Brian Gionta was alive then and was too young to remember it, but the movie and USA Hockey history have allowed these players to make a connection.

“That opportunity that they got is a lot of parallels to the opportunity we’re getting today in this Olympics,” forward Brian O’Neill said. “I think if you’re a normal U.S.A. hockey player, you look at the 1980 team regardless, but us being in very similar situations, it definitely gives us a lot of motivation and inspiration.”

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Olympic Hockey Day 4 Preview

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Throughout the entire 2018 Winter Games, NBC Olympics staff  will preview the upcoming slate of hockey games and recap the prior day’s action.

After a subpar performance against Team Finland, Team USA will look to improve against the Olympic Athletes from Russia. The U.S. will need to utilize its speed in order to create enough offense to compete against the favorite, Canada.

NBCOlympics.com: Favored Russians ooze confidence, feel like ‘red machine’

OAR struggled vs the four-time defending champions in its first game but are still searching for team chemistry, which could be problematic due to the condensed schedule.

Puck drop is set for 7:10 a.m. on NBCSN.

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Ex-NHL player Jim Paek makes Korea hockey dream come true

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Playing parts of six NHL seasons and winning the Stanley Cup twice, Jim Paek had seen hockey at its highest level.

When he returned to his native South Korea to take over its men’s national team, he saw hockey at an almost unacceptable level. Paek inherited a program that lacked the basic necessities of the sport, let alone the talent to compete internationally.

“We didn’t have a skate sharpener,” Paek said. “That’s how small our country is for hockey.”

South Korean hockey has come an unimaginable distance in in the past three-plus years with Paek and fellow former NHL player Richard Park in charge of bringing everything from the equipment and the locker room to the quality of play up to speed in time to take part in the Olympics as the tournament host.

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