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Team USA faces a feisty Russian squad

Updated: September 7, 2004, 12:34 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

Now is the time for looking into the abyss at the World Cup of Hockey. The team that can do so without flinching and step back three times can call itself the finest hockey team in the world.

In preparing for the start of elimination games Tuesday in St. Paul where the third-seeded United States takes on second seed Russia, and Wednesday in Toronto where unbeaten Canada hosts winless Slovakia in the other North American quarterfinal game, the challenge is to both forget the past and learn ...

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