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Games get tougher for Americans with Slovakia up next

Updated: February 17, 2006, 1:27 PM ET
Associated Press

TURIN, Italy -- Don't tell U.S. hockey players that the soft part of the schedule is over.

Their Olympic experience, so far, has been anything but easy. After two games against teams considered to be the least formidable in Group B, the Americans sit in second place with three points (1-0-1).

"There are so many great teams here that if you take a period off or a half a period off, you're going to lose the game," St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk said Friday.

That nearly happened ...

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