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Canadian women's hockey team strives for 4th gold in a row

Our team plays its first game in Sochi today against Switzerland at 8 a.m. ET

One of the most popular sports among Canadians kicks off in Sochi today.

Our women's hockey team takes on Switzerland at 8 a.m. ET.

TSN women's hockey analyst Cheryl Pounder says the team's chances for gold are "great."

The Canadian women's team has won three Olympic golds in a row.

At the same time, Pounder says a gold-medal win won't be an easy task. She points out that in the past five years, Canada has won only one world championship. The American women have won four.

"The Americans are very, very fast," she says. "I find that they move the puck extremely well. They transition well.

"Canada will have to be able to stifle that through the neutral zone."

She says, though, that the Canadian women hold the edge in net.

"I think it's going to come down to goaltending."

LISTEN: 

Pounder says she likes our current team.

"It's got a great blend of youth and veterans, as I call them the old dogs."

While she expects a matchup between Canada and the U.S. in the final, that's not a sure thing. She says that Finland is starting to make a mark and Russia is pushing for a medal.

Back home, meanwhile, a hockey gold is what many Canadians expect.

Being a former member of the women's hockey team herself, she says the players understand that expectation.

"Coming home from Turin and Salt Lake, I remember feeling like I could fly," she says. "You know, you never realize the pressure you were under."

But she adds that the team welcomes that pressure.

"We want to bring [the gold] home for Canada."

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