February 23, 2014 / 1:07 AM / 5 years ago

Canada play Sweden in hockey final as Games close

Canada's men's ice hockey team head coach Mike Babcock speaks to his team during a practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Defending ice hockey champions Canada play 2006 winners Sweden in the Olympic final on Sunday, bringing the curtain down on two weeks of thrills and spills at the Winter Games in Sochi.

The four-man bobsleigh and cross-country skiing’s 50km endurance test will be staged earlier in the day before athletes make their way to the Fisht Stadium for the closing ceremony.

Although the Swedes and the Canadians cannot claim a classic sporting rivalry, their ice hockey pedigrees are indisputable, producing some of the world’s top talent.

President Vladimir Putin and his fellow Russians dreamed of signing off with gold in one of the country’s favorite sports but their hopes were dashed by a quarter-final exit.

However, Russia do sit on top of the medals table going into the final day of competition, just ahead of Norway.

They will be looking for more gold in the bobsleigh where Olympic two-man champion Alexander Zubkov takes the slenderest of leads into the final two heats of the four-man competition.

In the cross-country, Norwegian Petter Northug looks to end his so far miserable Olympics on a high in an event he won in Vancouver in 2010. Northug, whose training was disrupted last year by a virus, is yet to win a medal here.

He faces a tough battle against Swiss Dario Cologna who already has two gold medals and will be looking for a third.

Writing by Keith Weir, Editing by Ken Ferris

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