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Friday's Three Stars: Kane leads U.S.; Luongo hangs on for Canada

Sean Leahy
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No. 1 Star: Patrick Kane(notes), USA

Heading into this afternoon's semifinal with Finland, Kane was struggling. Bad. So much so that goaltender Ryan Miller(notes) had as many points as the young forward. Breaking out in a big way, the Chicago Blackhawks star scored twice to put an exclamation point on top of the Americans 6-1 stomping of the Finns, setting up a rematch of the 2002 Olympic gold medal game on Sunday afternoon. February 28th will also mark the 50th anniversary of the American gold medal victory at the 1960 Olympics.

No. 2 Star: Ryan Miller, USA

It continued to be "Miller Time" for the U.S. as he kept the Finns off the scoresheet, making 18 saves before taking a breather and being replaced by Tim Thomas(notes) in the third period. Miller leads all goaltenders in save-percentage (.904) and goals-against average (1.04) as we head to the gold medal game. Because of his stellar play throughout the tournament, the U.S. has not been behind at any point of their five games and Miller has been head coach Ron Wilson's guy the entire way.

No. 3 Star: Roberto Luongo(notes), Canada

It was looking like an easy night for Luongo as the Canadians scored twice in less than two minutes to take a 2-0 lead in the first period. Facing just nine shots through two periods, Slovakia awoke late in the third period scoring twice and hounding the Canadian net to no avail. A flurry in front of Luongo was held off and Canada advanced to the gold medal game with a 3-2 victory. Luongo ended up making 19 saves on the night for his fourth victory. He now gets the opportunity to win gold in front of the hometown fans in the building he plays in nightly.

Honorable Mention: Zach Parise(notes), Ryan Malone(notes) and Paul Stastny(notes) each scored and added an assist in the U.S victory ... Brian Rafalski(notes) leads the U.S. in points with eight after recording two assists ... Ryan Getzlaf(notes) scored his third goal on the tournament that originally was thought to be the final nail in the coffin for Slovakia until their third period comeback. Brendan Morrow and Patrick Marleau(notes) scored Canada's first two goals, the second for both of the Olympics.

Did You Know? Finland had only allowed four goals through their first four games of the tournament before today.

Dishonorable Mention: If you were making a list of reasons why Finland would defeat the U.S. today, Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) would likely be No. 1. Things didn't work out that way as Kipper was bombarded by the American offense en route to allowing four goals in the first 12 minutes of the first period before pulling himself in favor of Niklas Backstrom(notes) ... Pavol Demitra(notes) will be haunted by his missed opportunity to tie the game against Canada with seconds remaining. His shot just outside the crease hit off both Luongo's glove and the crossbar before time expired. He may end up getting a standing ovation, however, when he steps foot inside GM Place again.

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