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Russia tops Canada in latest IIHF rankings

When it comes to global puck, Canada's men and women are second best, according to the IIHF. Russia sits on top, while Canada sits in second position on the men's side. For the women, the United States outranks our beloved red and white.

When it comes to global puck, Canada's men and women are second best, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation. 

The federation released its pre-Olympic rankings on Monday, just days before the Vancouver Olympics begin.

Russia sits on tops of the totals with 2,925 points, while Canada sits in second position with 2,905.

Sweden, the defending champion from the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, is third with 2,795. Finland and the United States round out the top five.

In the women's pre-Olympic report, the United States is ranked first with 1,790 points, ahead of Canada (1,750 points) and Sweden (1,675 points).

The federation based its rankings on points awarded for the final positions in the last four IIHF world championships. The team that wins the world championship or an Olympic gold medal receives 1,200 points.

On the men's side, Russia won the two consecutive world championships, edging out the Canadians 2-1 last year and knocking them off in a 5-4 overtime in 2008.

Canada won the tournament in 2007, and Sweden won in 2006.

The IIHF will release its "final" world rankings after the Vancouver Olympics and will also factor in the results from the 2006 Olympics, which were excluded from the pre-Olympic rankings.

The system uses a four-year cycle.

According the IIHF's calculations, Canada will overtake Russia in the overall rankings if it wins a gold medal in Vancouver.