NAGANO, Japan -- Jeremy Roenick expects hockey hostility tonight (11: 45; Channel 13), when Canada and the United States skate into each other at the Big Hat.
Blood, sweat and sneers.
"It's an exhibition game, but it will entail a lot of pain, I'm sure," the American forward predicted. "It's going to be a slugfest. There'll be a lot of skating. A lot of hitting. A lot of slashing. A lot of trash talk. There's potential for bloodshed."
The battle lines were etched in ice in 1996, when Team USA upset Team Canada and won the inaugural World Cup of Hockey. And they were carved even deeper a few days ago when Team Canada had to scratch Paul Kariya of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, one of the bright young stars of the NHL,
because he is still suffering from a vicious cross-check to the face by Gary Suter of the Chicago Blackhawks and Team USA. ZTC The Canadians have suggesting that Suter smashed Kariya so he couldn't play here in the land of his ancestors.
"We haven't had a lot of interaction with them," Roenick said. "We pass them and say hi. That's about it."
The United States evened its record at 1-1 yesterday with a 5-2 win over Belarus (0-2). After this round-robin finale against Canada (which improved to 2-0 by beating powerful Sweden, 3-2, yesterday), the Americans will advance to Wednesday's single-elimination quarterfinals.
Pub Date: 2/15/98