October 21, 2018
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Hockey: The Showdown with The Next One> Paul Kariya facing off against Maine mates

LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Oh, great. The U.S. hockey team is winless after two games for the first time in 10 years, its hopes for a medal vanishing, and guess who’s dead ahead.

The Next One, Olympic version.

Paul Kariya, a 19-year-old who is the latest hockey-playing Canadian teen-ager to bear the burden of being the next Wayne Gretzky, must be contained if the United States is to finally win one Thursday night.

“His skating style is similar to Gretzky’s. He might even be a better skater,” U.S. coach Tim Taylor said Wednesday. “And he loves to make plays. It’s an accurate comparison.”

A loss to Canada (2-0-0) would leave the Americans (0-0-2) with just two points from three games, and second-seeded Sweden still to come. Losses to Canada and Sweden would force them to beat lightly regarded Italy in their last preliminary game to have a chance at the medal round.

Kariya, a Vancouver native who attends the University of Maine, scored 100 points in 39 games and was the top U.S. college player in leading the Black Bears to the 1993 NCAA title.

Five of his Maine teammates are on the U.S. team.

“If I’d never seen him, I might be dumbfounded or in awe of him,” said Garth Snow, who gets his second straight start in the United States’ goal.

Added defenseman Matt Martin: “I’m used to having him on my side. I wish he was on our side now.”

Kariya said facing his former teammates “is a strange experience.”

“It’s tough seeing them go down the ice when you’re used to cheering for them,” he said. “The roles are reversed now.”

Kariya and linemates Chris Kontos and Petr Nedved were NHL first-round draft picks.

“That’s a pretty nice line,” Taylor said. “We have to pay special attention to that line, no doubt about it.”

Canadian coach Tom Renney said the best thing about Kariya is that he makes everyone on the ice better. It’s another similarity between Kariya and Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time scoring leader.

“Unfortunately, (teammates) are usually a half-step behind him,” Renney said, “He thinks and plays at a better speed than anybody else.”

Asked if he had to change his speed to play with Kariya, Kontos smiled. “You mean, do I have to slow down for him?”

“Seriously, he’s very Gretzky-like,” Kontos said. “He sees the ice incredibly well.”

When he’s on the ice Thursday night, he might see U.S. players trying to drill him into the boards… if they can catch him.

“I hope that I get to hit him, that he doesn’t slip away,” said the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Martin, who hulks over the 5-11, 165-pound Kariya.

But Kariya isn’t worried about Martin, Peter Ferraro or the other Maine men on the U.S. team.

“I don’t look around and say, `There’s Matt.’ If someone’s trying to get under my skin, I don’t check to see if it’s Peter,” Kariya said. “When I’m out there, I’m focused on what I have to do.”

Odds are that the hitting will come from both sides in a fierce, long-running rivalry.

“Canada is supposed to beat the United States because it’s supposed to be our national sport,” Canadian goalie Corey Hirsch said.

The United States is 2-8-2 against Canada in Olympic competition, 0-3 since last winning in 1960.

The teams played 11 pre-Olympic exhibitions this season, with the U.S. team holding an 8-2-1 edge. But Canada has added 11 players – including Kariya, Nedved and Kontos – since most of those games were played.

The contests often were physical, penalty-filled affairs.

“We’ve seen each other a lot,” Renney said. “Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say, and I’m sure that there could be a component to that end. But I think, too, that the common denominator to success will be emotional control.”

See KARIYA on Page 14

– from page 11

Kariya carrying Canadian hopes

By Mike Nadel

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (AP) – Oh, great. The U.S. hockey team is winless after two games for the first time in 10 years, its hopes for a medal vanishing, and guess who’s dead ahead.

The Next One, Olympic version.

Paul Kariya, a 19-year-old who is the latest hockey-playing Canadian teen-ager to bear the burden of being the next Wayne Gretzky, must be contained if the United States is to finally win one Thursday night.

“His skating style is similar to Gretzky’s. He might even be a better skater,” U.S. coach Tim Taylor said Wednesday. “And he loves to make plays. It’s an accurate comparison.”

A loss to Canada (2-0-0) would leave the Americans (0-0-2) with just two points from three games, and second-seeded Sweden still to come. Losses to Canada and Sweden would force them to beat lightly regarded Italy in their last preliminary game to have a chance at the medal round.

Kariya, a Vancouver native who attends the University of Maine, scored 100 points in 39 games and was the top U.S. college player in leading the Black Bears to the 1993 NCAA title.

Five of his Maine teammates are on the U.S. team.

“If I’d never seen him, I might be dumbfounded or in awe of him,” said Garth Snow, who gets his second straight start in the United States’ goal.

Added defenseman Matt Martin: “I’m used to having him on my side. I wish he was on our side now.”

Kariya said facing his former teammates “is a strange experience.”

“It’s tough seeing them go down the ice when you’re used to cheering for them,” he said. “The roles are reversed now.”

Kariya and linemates Chris Kontos and Petr Nedved were NHL first-round draft picks.

“That’s a pretty nice line,” Taylor said. “We have to pay special attention to that line, no doubt about it.”

Canadian coach Tom Renney said the best thing about Kariya is that he makes everyone on the ice better. It’s another similarity between Kariya and Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time scoring leader.

“Unfortunately, (teammates) are usually a half-step behind him,” Renney said, “He thinks and plays at a better speed than anybody else.”

Asked if he had to change his speed to play with Kariya, Kontos smiled. “You mean, do I have to slow down for him?”

“Seriously, he’s very Gretzky-like,” Kontos said. “He sees the ice incredibly well.”

When he’s on the ice Thursday night, he might see U.S. players trying to drill him into the boards… if they can catch him.

“I hope that I get to hit him, that he doesn’t slip away,” said the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Martin, who hulks over the 5-11, 165-pound Kariya.

But Kariya isn’t worried about Martin, Peter Ferraro or the other Maine men on the U.S. team.

“I don’t look around and say, `There’s Matt.’ If someone’s trying to get under my skin, I don’t check to see if it’s Peter,” Kariya said. “When I’m out there, I’m focused on what I have to do.”

Odds are that the hitting will come from both sides in a fierce, long-running rivalry.

“Canada is supposed to beat the United States because it’s supposed to be our national sport,” Canadian goalie Corey Hirsch said.

The United States is 2-8-2 against Canada in Olympic competition, 0-3 since last winning in 1960.

The teams played 11 pre-Olympic exhibitions this season, with the U.S. team holding an 8-2-1 edge. But Canada has added 11 players – including Kariya, Nedved and Kontos – since most of those games were played.


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