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OLYMPIC REVIEW71 VENUEFORMGUIDE Matches will be spread over two venues - the Canada Hockey Place and the University of British Columbia Thunderbird Arena ( UBC). Canada Hockey Place needs no introduction to locals, fans of the game, or to the millions of patrons who have graced the venue over the past 14 years. As well as being the home of local NHL team the Vancouver Canucks, the facility is one of the most active entertainment venues in North America and has welcomed a host of top names since its opening in 1995. The capacity of Canada Hockey Place is 18,630 and it regularly hosts 100 events each year. The capacity at UBC, which is located on a large ocean- side campus on Vancouver's west side, is 7,200. Following the 2010 Games, the UBC venue will serve as a recreational and high- performance multi- sport legacy facility. Home advantage is a concept not usually applicable in Olympic ice hockey but it is something that Canada, in particular their men's team, will be hoping to benefit from in Vancouver. To win one of the most coveted golds of the Games, Canada will have to get past the traditional powerhouse teams from Scandinavia, Russia, the United States and the Czech Republic. And going on recent form the Scandinavians and the Russians may just have the edge. At Salt Lake City in 2002 the US hosts had to settle for silver in both the men's and women's tournaments as the Canadian men and women swept both gold medals. But in Turin four years later a Sweden team packed with NHL stars claimed the gold medal by beating Finland. While the Czech Republic won bronze after beating Russia, the Canadian men crashed out at the quarter- final stage. The pressure to deliver could work either way but Canada have shown as recently as May, where they finished runner- up to Russia for the second consecutive year in the final of the world championships, that they are back in contention. Canada, coached at the event by Buffalo Sabres stalwart Lindy Ruff, dominated for long periods of the game but Russia pounced on two mistakes from the Canadians to win the match 2- 1. Olympic champions Sweden beat the US team to claim the bronze. In Vancouver big things will also be expected from Canada's unstoppable women, who will be aiming for their third consecutive gold having beated Nagano champions, the USA, at Salt Lake City, then stopped a Swedish gold medal sweep in Turin. They have already highlighted the USA, Finland and Sweden as their main rivals for gold. Below leftThe Czech Republic are always strong in the men's event Below Canada's women are going for a third successive gold SPORTS PROFILES

72OLYMPIC REVIEW JAYNA HEFFORD CANADIAN SET TO APPEAR IN HER FOURTH GAMES ZACH PARISE ( USA) PLAYS FOR NEW JERSEY DEVILS IN NHL How is the Canadian team shaping up ahead of Vancouver, and who will be your biggest rivals? We have a really great mix of experience and young energy. We are very driven and determined to put Canada back on top of the women's hockey world. After returning from a recent training camp, I'm really excited to be a part of the upcoming season and be a part of something incredibly special for Canada. This will be your fourth edition of the Olympic Games - does it feel special? I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to train for my fourth Olympic Games. Each season has been so unique and rewarding in its own way. I've learned things each year that I've been able to put towards my future successes. Although I've had a lot of Olympic experience, the excitement and honour of representing my country is something I never take for granted. How important is the game of hockey to the Canadian public? Canadians have such a respect for the game, and are so proud of our hockey heritage. I know that our performance matters to Canadians, and that means a lot to me and my teammates. Are you looking forward to the Olympic Games? All the guys I've talked to that played in 2006 say it was unbelievable and now it being in Canada, it will be that much more exciting for hockey. I've played for the US world junior team and world championship team, but this is something on a whole different level. Does playing for your country get you excited? Putting on your country's jersey is always exciting. It's not an opportunity that everybody gets so you want to make the best of it. When you have each country's best players playing against each other, there's bound to be some great hockey and it's that much better when you have your whole country watching and supporting you. How would you describe the differences between playing in the NHL and at international level? I think you try to make everything about the game as similar as possible to what you're used to playing. Certain guys will be selected for certain roles that they're comfortable with and that they do all season with their regular team. The talent will obviously be better and the games may be a little quicker but I don't think it will take that long to adapt and the team that does it the best and earliest will have the most success. BelowHefford and Parise in action on the ice SPORTS PROFILES