Olympic Men’s Hockey

Yesterday concluded the pool play for the three groups and the seedings have been determined for the quarterfinals that start on Wednesday. The four teams that received first round byes are Sweden, USA, Canada and Finland . Sweden swept its group stage and won all three games in the sixty-minute regulation to give them the maximum 9 points. The USA won all three games as well but the overtime win against Russia knocked the USA down a peg to 8 points. A regulation win is worth three points while an overtime or shootout win is worth two points. The Canadians and the Fins played on Sunday to determine the winner of Group B, which was won in overtime on Drew Doughty’s goal to give the Canadians a 2-1 victory and secure the three seed, while Finland having won their two previous games in regulation got the four seed.

The tournament has been tremendous, The US-Russia game on Saturday had everything for hockey fans including rivalry, controversy and excitement as T.J Oshie and Ilya Kovalchuk went back and forth in a shootout to determine the winner of the highly anticipated matchup. Putin’s presence put a kind of 1980 Cold War rematch in the air, and controversy ensued when US-goalie Jonathan Quick knocked the net off its mooring just moments before a slap shot from Fedor Tyutin sailed over Quick’s left shoulder. The goal would’ve given Russia a 3-2 lead late in regulation and drastically altered the next round of the tournament. Because of the shootout loss for the Russians they’ll need to play on Tuesday instead of being the top seed and having a bye into the quarterfinals. Had the USA squad lost that game in regulation they’d be looking at an extremely tough road to any kind of medal in the tournament.

The match-ups for the quarter- and semi-finals seem set for rivalries galore with USA-Canada and Sweden-Finland meeting on Friday. In 2006 the Swedes and Fins met in the Gold Medal Game in Turin, Italy. That game was won by the Swedes who’ve dominated the Fins in international play. In Vancouver four years ago, Canada scored in overtime to defeat the U.S. The game could’ve been won in regulation by the Canadians, but the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane scored with seconds left to force the extra session. Sidney Crosby won the game shortly into sudden death.

The match ups on Tuesday will lead to the following results (All times are CST):

  • Sweden plays winner of Slovenia-Austria 2AM
  • USA plays winner of Czech Republic-Slovakia 6:30AM
  • Canada plays winner of Switzerland-Latvia 11AM
  • Finland plays winner of Russia-Norway 11AM