The U.S. and Canada have not earned a medal in hockey away from North America since the NHL began letting its players participate in the 1998 Winter Olympics.
In Vancouver and Salt Lake City, the Canadians beat the Americans in the gold-medal games.
David Poile, general manager of the U.S. team, says it's not a coincidence.
Poile points to the ice surface to provide one reason why North American teams fared poorly at the Turin and Nagano Games.
Compared to the NHL-sized rinks used in 2010, the ice surface in Sochi will be 15 feet wider, the neutral zone will be 8 feet larger and there will be 2 more feet behind the goal lines.
Canadian forward Jeff Carter says the dimensions change the game.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)