They forged bonds from Riga to Cologne and in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
It's all led Germany and the Russians to a David versus Goliath Olympic gold-medal game Sunday. Even though the Russians were favorites all along and expected to win gold in a tournament without NHL stars and Germany was a longshot to even reach the semifinals after not qualifying in Sochi, these two teams are more similar than they are different.
Their familiarity and continuity is the biggest reason they're facing off in the final.
Germany's core group has been together through the Olympic qualification tournament and world championships and has played the same system for the past three years...