They know each other like the right hand knows the left, mirror-image adversaries with only the jerseys on their backs to tell them apart.

There are no secrets between them. No tricks up their sleeves. No stones left unturned.

If Team USA vs. Team Canada in women's hockey isn't the best rivalry in sports, it's at least in the conversation. There have been 15 world championships for women, and 15 times these two teams have met in the final. There have been four gold medal games at the Olympics, and three times it was USA vs. Canada.

On Thursday night, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, they'll do it again.

"We feel like we've prepared all year for this game," said Natalie Spooner, who scored twice Monday in a 3-1 win against Switzerland to put Canada in the Olympic final.

Earlier, the Americans peppered Sweden's goalies for 60 minutes in a 6-1 victory.

"It's not the U.S. and Canada's fault that they are good," Swedish coach Leif Boork said with a shrug. "I think they should go on being good so we have something to work on."

What the Americans and Canadians have to work on is each other. The U.S. won the first gold-medal showdown in Nagano in 1998, when women's hockey made its Olympic debut. Canada has won gold in every Winter Games since, twice with victories over the U.S. (2002, 2010).

Team USA beat Canada four straight times in December during a pre-Olympics tour, but Canada is coming off a 3-2 victory in the preliminary round Wednesday, a game that could have psychological repercussions. Nobody has to remind the Americans that they haven't beaten their archrivals on Olympic ice in 16 years.


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"We had a little bit of adversity with a loss against Canada, but we turned the corner and started fresh," U.S. captain Meghan Duggan said. "We came out tonight a different team. We got back to our game."

Coach Katey Stone thought the Americans played on their heels in their loss to the Canadians. Against Sweden, she wanted her team back on its toes, pushing the puck, staying in attack mode.

"I like how our team responded," she said.

Indeed, Team USA's victory felt like a 60-minute power play. Probably 90 percent of the game was played within 40 feet of Sweden's goal, and the Americans outshot the Swedes 70-9. Boork pulled goalie Valentina Wallner for Kim Martin Hasson in the second period.

Asked why, he said, "We took Val out because she had a busy day at work."

Megan Bozek and Brianna Decker each had a goal and two assists for the U.S.

Curling: China beat Britain 6-5 to qualify for the men's semifinals. The loss forced Britain into a tiebreaker against Norway on Tuesday for the final spot in the playoffs. Canada and Sweden advanced Sunday.

Germany lost 8-7 to Russia to finish in last place at 1-8. Switzerland won 6-3 against the United States.

In the women's tournament, Switzerland and Britain advanced to the semifinals, joining Canada and Sweden. Canada is the first women's curling team to go through the round-robin matches without a loss.

The United States (1-8) finished last for the second straight Olympics after losing 11-2 to South Korea.

"This team is a better team than our performances this week," said U.S. curler Ann Swisshelm, who had tears in her eyes as she left the ice. "That's pretty heartbreaking."

Biathlon: Darya Domracheva of Belarus eased to victory in the 12.5-kilometer mass start race, completing an unprecedented haul of three gold medals in women's biathlon at one Olympics.

"Maybe it's strange, but I don't feel like I've done something special," Domracheva said. "I just tried to enjoy myself, and I did my race with a laugh. But for sure, it's amazing."

Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic took silver and Tiril Eckhoff of Norway bronze.

Freestyle skiing: Five spins into the frosty night air followed by a near-perfect landing gave Anton Kushnir the gold medal and wrapped up a sweep of aerials gold for Belarus.

He won it three nights after Alla Tsuper, who recently moved to Belarus from Ukraine, took the women's gold.

"We managed to repeat the success," Kushnir said. "I don't know actually how this happened, but I got the gold medal."

Australia's David Morris finished 24 points behind Kushnir to win silver; China's Jia Zongyang took the bronze.

Ski jumping: Germany took the lead with one group to go and edged Austria to win the team gold medal on the large hill.

Austria had won gold in the last two Olympics and hadn't lost a team large hill competition since the 2005 world championships.

Japan won bronze.

Races postponed: Thick fog lingering over the mountains caused the biggest weather disruptions of the games so far, with a biathlon race and a snowboard event both postponed until Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.