The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Medals, Medals everywhere!

Finally, the day is here – just in time for the start of the real Olympics in Sochi, we have our winners! So, who took home some metal? Let’s find out…

Game #29 – Bronze Medal Game: Switzerland vs Russia 0:3

Shots 14-24
Hits 6-19
PIMs 0:00 – 4:00
PP 0/2 – 0/0

Three Stars
1st Evgeni Malkin (1G, 0A, 5 Hits, 3S, +1) Russia
2nd Artem Anisimov (1G, 0A, 0 Hits, 2S, +1) Russia
3rd Sergei Bobrovsky (Shutout) Russia

Their loss against the United States still in the back of their heads, the Russians were determined to at least win bronze in their home country. However, it was Switzerland that started out with most of the offense. In a period with very few whistles, both teams eventually had a variety of scoring chances with Russia’s Artem Anisimov striking first, beating Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller on his glove side after a perfect pass by Nikolai Kulemin. The Swiss knew they were not yet out of this game and kept on fighting without getting many shots on Bobrovsky though.
The second period started with two big stops by Hiller who had to be on top of his game to prevent Russia from pulling away. Just over four minutes into the period, it looked like an Ilya Kovalchuk boarding penalty could shape up to be the turning point of the contest, even more so when Pavel Datsyuk presented the Swiss with 1:11 minutes of 5-on-3 time due to a charging call. Bobrovsky had to deal with a great amount of pressure by Switzerland but pulled through, not letting them capitalize on their man advantages. Instead, Alexander Radulov added another tally for the Russians with a gorgeous snipe from the point, beating Hiller far glove side for the top shelf goal. Russia continued to have more possession for the rest of the period but did not score any more goals.
When the final stanza got underway, it was obvious how badly Russia wanted this win, playing a really physical game. The Swiss, despite being hit on every opportunity, showed some great fighting spirit, most notably Hiller. After giving up a rebound, Pavel Datsyuk had Hiller down on the ice and an open net to score, but the shot hit the boards instead of twine – only the replay showed that Hiller made a spectacular save to keep his team in the game. Switzerland managed only two shots on Bobrovsky that period, and in the last minute of the game, Evgeni Malkin got one more past Hiller for what would be the final score.
The Russians sure would have loved to win it all in their home country but will certainly be excited about bronze as well. However, not only their eyes were on the other game of the day just some time after theirs:

Game #30 – Gold Medal Game: United States vs Sweden 1:2

Shots 10-22
Hits 6-10
PIMs 6:00 – 0:00
PP 0/0 – 1/3

Three Stars
1st Henrik Sedin (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 4S, +1) Sweden
2nd Daniel Sedin (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 6S, +1) Sweden
3rd Paul Stastny (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 1S, +1) United States

The game that everyone has been waiting for. Hard work paid off for both of these teams, gaining them participation in the Gold Medal Game. Especially the United States squad had a tough way to the final, having to go through the qualification round after a rough start in the preliminary round and defeating powerhouses like Finland, Canada and Russia to get a shot at the gold. The Swedes won their group even though they were tied in points with two other teams, disposing of Austria and Switzerland in the Quarter Finals and Semi-Finals respectively.
This game looked to be an exciting one, and that is just how it started. An even contest developed right from the opening faceoff, the US having slightly more scoring chances. Intensity certainly was not missing either, Ryan Suter nailed Nicklas Bäckström in the corner and had to take a seat in the penalty box for two minutes. Not much later, he was joined by teammate David Backes who got called for interfering with Erik Karlsson, presenting the Swedes with a man advantage of 1:31 minutes. They made good use of it: After a smooth cross-crease pass by Daniel Alfredsson, Daniel Sedin tipped the puck past US netminder Ryan Miller for the lead. However, Paul Stastny answered just 23 seconds later – a short-handed goal after Joe Pavelski won an offensive zone faceoff, with Stastny turning around in the circle to beat Henrik Lundqvist blocker side. That was not it for the first though: With 1:08 minutes to go, Henrik Sedin got the lead back for the Swedes with a magnificent play: He scored a one-timer on a Niklas Hjalmarsson pass – on his backhand. He should be ashamed for his inappropriateness, in public even.
When the players returned from the first intermission, Sweden continued to produce great scoring chances. Ryan Callahan took care of giving them a few more when he got a minor for slashing. However, there were no consequences as Sweden could not convert on the ensuing power play. The Americans showed some sporadic offense but did not have many opprtunities in a less than spectacular period.
Again the Swedes came out of the dressing room with lots of pressure to start the third period, having some big chances that Ryan Miller could turn aside. The US boys tried their best to tie the game but most of their shots got blocked or missed the net entirely – even pulling Miller in the final minute of the game did not help.
The consequence: Cheering Swedes all over the ice! After Lillehammer in 1994 and Torino in 2006, they win their third Gold Medal and return as heroes to their hockey-crazy home country. That win did not come easy, but neither did the Silver Medal for the United Stats. Most people saw them eliminated after their weak preliminary round but they certainly deserve the metal after clawing their way back into the tournament. They probably will not be very disappointed considering the strong opponents they managed to beat over the course of the tournament.

Here are the statistics of the Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014:

Group A:
1.Russia           6 Pts. 3GP 10G 2GA
2. Slovakia        4 Pts. 3 GP 6G 7GA
3. United States 3 Pts. 3 GP 3G 6GA
4. Belarus         1 Pts. 3GP 4G 8GA

Group B:
1. Canada     6 Pts. 3GP 10G 2GA
2. Austria     4 Pts. 3GP 5G 7GA
3. Finland     3 Pts. 3GP 3G 4GA
4. Norway     1 Pts. 2GP 1G 6GA

Group C:
1. Czech Republic   4 Pts. 3GP 5G  4GA
2. Sweden              4 Pts. 3GP 9G 1GA
3. Switzerland         4 Pts. 3GP 5G 6GA
4. Latvia                  0Pts. 3GP 1G 9GA

After Preliminary Round

Pos. Team GP Pts G GA Diff.
1 Russia 3 6 10 2 8
2 Canada 3 6 9 3 6
3 Sweden 3 4 9 1 8
4 Czech Republic 3 4 5 4 1
5 Slovakia 3 4 6 7 -1
6 Switzerland 3 4 5 6 -1
7 Austria 3 4 5 7 -2
8 United States 3 3 3 6 -3
9 Finland 3 2 3 5 -2
10 Belarus 3 2 4 8 -4
11 Norway 3 1 1 6 -5
12 Latvia 3 0 1 9 -8

Qualification Quarter Finals

Latvia (12) 3 Slovakia (5) 0
Norway (11) 1 Switzerland (6) 2 So
Belarus (10) 0 Austria (7) 1
Finland (9) 1 United States (8) 4

Quarter Finals

Latvia (12) 1 Russia (1) 5
United States (8) 6 Canada (2) 0
Austria (7) 1 Sweden (3) 2
Switzerland (6) 3 Czech Republic (4) 1

Semi-Finals

United States (8) 3 Russia (1) 0
Switzerland (6) 1 Sweden (3) 4

Bronze Medal Game

Switzerland (6) 0 Russia (1) 3

Gold Medal Game

United States (8) 1 Sweden (3) 2

Leaders

Goals

Sedin Daniel 4 Sweden
Kesler Ryan 4 United States
Kovalchuk Ilya 4 Russia
Stamkos Steven 4 Canada
Steen Alexander 3 Sweden
Brunner Damien 3 Switzerland
Kane Patrick 3 United States
Licht Matthias 3 Austria

Assists

Shattenkirk Kevin 5 United States
Steen Alexander 4 Sweden
Crosby Sidney 4 Canada
Elias Patrik 4 Czech Republic
Markov Andrei 4 Russia
Romy Kevin 4 Switzerland
Krönwall Niklas 4 Sweden

Points

Sedin Daniel 7 Sweden
Steen Alexander 7 Sweden
Kesler Ryan 6 United States
Kovalchuk Ilya 6 Russia
Brunner Damien 6 Switzerland
Kane Patrick 6 United States

Thank you for following our coverage! It was quite some work but lots of fun at the same time. From simulated Sochi, we are Ze German Hockey Guys.

-Yannik

The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Semi-Finals / Look at those US boys

Hello again from simulated Sochi (not really, still in Germany)! After some exciting action in the quarter finals including a few surprises, we are back with more coverage. This time, it’s the semi-finals – and oh boy, those games were really good. Fasten your seatbelts everybody, here we go!

Game #27: United States vs Russia 3:0

Shots 19-11
Hits 12-13
PIMs 2:00 – 0:00
PP 0/0 – 0/1

Three Stars
1st Ryan Kesler (1G, 0A, 0 Hits, 2S, +2) United States
2nd Ryan Suter (0G, 2A, 0 Hits, 0S, +2) United States
3rd Zach Parise (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 6S, +2) United States

After demolishing Canada in an unexpected blowout win in the quarter finals, the US team faced another big challenge: Russia was their next opponent. Would this game decide the gold medal winner already? Some people sure thought so.
The Americans did not waste any time against the host of the games. After winning the opening faceoff, Ryan Kesler beat Russian netminder Sergei Bobrovsky cleanly with a slap shot from the blue line to make it 1-0 not even two minutes into the contest. The game was a competitive one, and the Russians had a big chance of getting back even when Zach Parise slashed Ilya Kovalchuk and went to the box for two minutes.Russia sure tried everything to score but eventually could not capitalize on numerous great scoring chances. Even back at even strength, the Russians had more possession but could not break through the superb US defense.
The American defensemen did their best to not let Russia get a shot at Ryan Miller after the first intermission and largely succeeded. However, it proved not to be an eventful period, David Backes’s wrap-around chance standing out the most. He was stopped by Bobrovsky.
Heading into the third frame, the US struck quickly again: Patrick Kane’s shot from point blank was saved by Bobrovsky, but Zach Parise was there to bury the rebound for the two-goal lead. That got their momentum going, proved by the many good chances the USA produced after that. Zach Parise appeared to be all over the ice, showing some smooth offensive zone moves, creating lots of opportunities. However, it was Max Pacioretty that turned around right in front of the net and put the final nail in the coffin of the Russian’s gold medal dreams. They could not get going due to the impressive effort of the US defense, which eventually proved to be the difference maker.
A great win for the US squad that leads them to the gold medal game. Its opponent would be determined by the second game of the night:

Game #28: Switzerland vs Sweden 1:4

Shots 22-20
Hits 9-12
PIMs 0:00 – 0:00
PP 0/0 – 0/0

Three Stars
1st Alexander Steen (2G, 1A, 0 Hits, 3S, +2)
2nd Erik Karlsson (1G, 1A, 1 Hit, 1S, +2)
3rd Henrik Lundqvist (1.00 GAA, .955 SV%)

The Swiss definitely turned some heads when they defeated the Czech Republic to advance to the semi-finals. They continued just where they left off in the first period, outplaying the Swedes by a lot. A strong offensive performance led to many scoring chances, but Sweden’s goaltender Henrik Lundqvist showed why he is nicknamed “King Henrik”: Not even shots that were deflected right in front of his crease could sneak by him as he did not crumble under the big-time pressure Switzerlands skaters put on him. Especially Andres Ambühl seemed to be omni-present, making plays from any position.
Then came the first intermission – and whatever it was that was said in the Swedish locker room, it sure hit the spot: Tre Kronor looked like a completely different team once the puck was dropped for the second period. Not even three minutes in, Niklas Krönwall unleashed an absolute laser but was denied by Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller who flashed his glove. It seemed like it was just a matter of time though with the Swedes having a good set-up in the offensive zone, making precise passes and putting the pedal to the metal. It paid off: Erik Karlsson blasted the puck past Hiller from the point to light the first lamp of the game. Switzerland did not giving up, and even after Roman Josi had to leave the game with an injury after he got hit by Daniel Alfredsson, the Swiss kept on working hard. Lundqvist had to make a few more good saves before that period’s end to maintain the lead.
When play resumed after the second intermission, the Swiss put on some more pressure but were unable to beat Lundqvist – instead, the Swedes scored on a counter rush. Alexander Steen got his first goal of the evening after assisting on the first one already, tapping in the rebound of Daniel Sedin’s wrist shot on Hiller. The Swiss still refused to call it quits, and Damien Brunner got them back within one when he deflected a Raphael Diaz wrist shot past Lundqvist. Just over a minute later, Nicklas Bäckström restored the two-goal lead putting another rebound into the back of the net. Still not giving up on the game, Switzerland pulled Hiller in the last minute of play, but Alexander Steen got his second goal of the night on an empty-netter five seconds from the final buzzer.
The score may not indicate it, but the Swedes are lucky to move on to the finals and sure have to buy Lundqvist dinner after this one. The US will not be any easier to play, especially since they got red hot just in time as it appears.

This leaves us with just one more day, and there will be medals! Join us again tomorrow to find out who takes it all – it is certainly going to be an interesting two games. Here is what is left:

Bronze Medal Game
Switzerland vs Russia

Gold Medal Game
United States vs Sweden

-Yannik

The Ze Germany Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 Day 7 / Quarterfinals

Welcome back to our coverage of the quarterfinals!

Latvia (12) vs. Russia (1) 1:5

Shots: 17 – 16
Hits: 7 – 13
PIMs: 2:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 0/1

Three Stars:
1st Ilya Kovalchuk (1G, 1A, +3)
2nd Nikolai Kulemin (1G, 1A, 5 Shots)
3rd Alexander Ovechkin (1G, 4 Hits, +3)

The game started one sided. Latvia could not come out of their zone and were forced to play a trapping style game. Ovechkin with a couple of big hits in the opening minutes. Kulemin made it 1:0 after a great heads-up play by Anisimov who saw that Kulemin was wide open in the slot. Quick, low shot to beat the goalie. First power play of the game 12 minutes into the first for Latvia, but they failed to convert. Kovalchuk made it 2:0 with 6 seconds to go in the first.
The second period started just like the first ended with a goal for Russia! Ovechkin powered along the half boards, turned behind the Latvian net and stuffed the puck through the goalie’s pad and post somehow. Power play for Russia, but no results on that one either. The Latvian netminder with some big saves to keep the score at 3:0, until Malkin made it 4:0 with a top shelf wrister from the slot.
An uneventful third period caused by sheer dominance of the Russian squad. Latvia scored their lone tally as Bobrovsky was unable to close his five hole in time. Tarasenko restored the old lead with 5 minutes left to play.
Russia continues to succeed, but against Lavtia a loss would have been unacceptable.

United States (8) vs. Canada (2) 6:0

Shots: 17 – 16
Hits: 9 – 5
PIMs: 0:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 0/0

Three Stars:
1st Patrick Kane (3G, 6 Shots, +5)
2nd Ryan Kesler (1G, 2A, +4)
3rd Ryan Miller (SO)

Game of the day between an USA team which has struggled and Canada which was excellent so far. But only one of these two big favorites for the gold medal can make it into the next round.
Chances for both teams right from the first whistle, but both goalies turned them down. A stupid slash by Tavares put the US team on a power play where they were stoned by Cary Price on multiple occasions. Strong defensive play by Canada. Even after they turned the puck over they could recover to clear the zone. Suddenly a huge mistake by Price and a goal for the USA! A weak shot by Pavelski was held, but he stayed with his initial shot and as Price wanted to play the puck to his defender Pavelski was there to poke it in! 1:0 USA 14 minutes into the first. Three minutes later the next mistake and the next goal for team USA! A shot by McDonagh went wide, Van Riemsdyk got the puck behind the net and wrapped it around to stuff it through Price’s five hole which magically opened. The USA with a ton of pressure on the forecheck and only the post prevented the Canadians from falling behind even more. Big slap shot from the point by Shattenkirk, deflection, goal! But the refs waived it off to review a potential kicking motion by Kesler who deflected the puck in. But the call stands, a good goal and a 3:0 lead for team USA with only 5 seconds to go in the first.
Cary Price let in 3 goals on 5 shots, with two goals caused by his own mistakes. So he stayed on the bench after the first intermission and Roberto Luongo, gold medal winning goalie of 2010, got his first minutes of the 2014 Olympics. The Canadians were finally able to add some pressure to their game, but they ran into a hot Ryan Miller who seemed to be unbeatable tonight. Patrick Kane made it 4:0 after a rebound. No fault on Luongo who got the initial shot, but was unable to recover to save the puck a second time. The Canadian defense looked way out of place. And they continued to score! Kane with his second of the night beating Luongo top shelf on his stick side. Once again no fault on Luongo, but the Canadian defense was again unable to control the game. Kane was skating cycles around them to score.
As the third started, the game was over. There was no way Canada could overcome a five goal deficit. The USA played it safe and 5 minutes into the third Kane got a hat trick dancing through the Canadian defense and burying the puck low on the stick side. A couple of chances for the Canadians, but Miller was once again there when needed. He definitely earned his shutout tonight.
What is the old saying: offense gets you goals, but defense wins games and tournaments. The Canadian defense was unable to defend the relentless attacks of Team USA and lost in blameable fashion. Patrick Kane’s hat trick was definitely the highlight of the game, but Price’s first period breakdown was the beginning of the end for Canada’s gold medal dream.

Austria (7) vs. Sweden (3) 1:2

Shots: 10 – 21
Hits: 6 – 12
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00

Three Stars:
1st Nicklas Backstrom (GWG)
2nd Niklas Kronwall (2A, 28:42 Min)
3rd Erik Karlsson (1G, 4 Shots, 28:45 Min)

Surprisingly, Austria made it into the quarterfinals just to face off against my personal favorite Sweden. Austria had their first scoring chance two minutes into the game, but the shooter got stoned by Henrik Lundqvist! There were chances for both teams, Sweden was unable to force the game in their direction. A hard fought game until the end of the first period. Neither team scored and neither team could get an advantage.
The second period started as boring as the first ended, as Erik Karlsson, the young Swedish blueliner, broke the tie with an end-to-end rush dangling through Austria’s defense shooting the puck past Austria’s goalie. It seems that Sweden got their legs moving. They forced turnovers, were hard on the puck and outplayed Austria at this stage of the game.
The Twins caused all kinds of havoc at the start of the third. Maybe it’s just because there are two of them. How knows? The Swedes made it 2:0 after Nicklas Backstrom pounded in a rebound from a Kronwallian point shot. But Austria answered as both Swedish defensemen went into the corner to challenge an Austrian player who smartly passed the puck into an empty slot where Kalt picked the puck up and put it past Lundqvist. Daniel Sedin could have taken the game away, but missed the puck low in the slot with just a minute to go. Shortly after, Austria pulled their goalie, but that move had no effect on the outcome of this one. Sweden moves to the next round!

Switzerland (6) vs. Czech Republic (4) 3:1

Shots: 16 – 15
Hits: 2 – 14
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00

Three Stars:
1st Reto Suri (2 Pts, GWG)
2nd Damien Brunner (1G, +2)
3rd Kevin Romy (2A, +2)

Last of the quarterfinals and again a match where the winner should be clear. The Swiss team has played a great tournament, but so has the Czech Republic.
With 7 minutes played the Swiss got the first one on the board as Hollenstein got a nice feed from the corner and found himself all alone in the slot. No chance for Pavelec whose defenders left him all alone. Just like Sweden, the Czechs were always one step too slow throughout the first period. They only had two shots on goal after several games where there offense was dominant.
A the start of the second period, the Czechs added some pressure but the Swiss toke advantage of a turnover, got in front of the opposing net and Damien Brunner banged in an ugly goal to make it 2:0. Hiller had a spectacular save on a deflected shot. Shortly after, Voracek cut the lead in half as he skated around the net and put one into the net. 2:1 with more than 30 minutes left of hockey. A lot of north-south-play while both teams tried to get the next goal. The second ended with a couple of great saves by Pavelec who kept the Czechs in the game.
The third period started just like that. No team seemed to be eager spending more time in the neutral zone than they need to. Good saves on both ends of the ice as the game continued. Also a lot of scrums, shoves, pushes. The Swiss team failed to score on a 3-on-2 as the Czechs caught flat footed on the Swiss’ blueline. With a minutes left to go the Swiss made it 3:1 as Suri deflected one past Pavelec and that’s all she wrote!
Clearly a disappointing loss for the Czech Republic! Switzerland is surly happy to continue their Olympic journey.

That’s it for the quarterfinals! Check back tomorrow for more EA NHL 2014 simulation action ;-)

- Marcel

The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Day 6: Qualification for the Quarter Finals

Here we are again with our coverage of our 2014 Olympics simulation. Day six is going to be an interesting one: Who is going to get eliminated, who is going to make it to the quarter finals? Well, we have the answers, and here we go!

Game #19: Latvia vs Slovakia 3:0

Shots 15-9
Hits 7-6
PIMs 0:00 – 4:00
PP: 1/2 – 0:0

Three Stars:

1st Herbert Vasilijevs (2G, 1A, 1 Hit, 2S, +2) Latvia
2nd Janis Sprukts (0G, 3A, 1 Hit, 0S, +2) Latvia
3rd Martins Karsums (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 4S, +1) Latvia

The first qualification game had a clear favorite: The Slovaks were thought of having quite the advantage over a Latvian team that finished the preliminary round in last place overall. However, anything can happen in hockey, and it did: The first two periods were not exactly bringing the fans to the edges of their seats while the Slovaks had more puck possession in a first stanza without much offense, and after the first intermission a not really exciting defensive battle ensued. The only good chance was a wrap-around attempt by Slovakia’s Marian Gaborik towards the end of the second period, but he could not beat Latvian netminder Arturs Dauls and hit the post.
More of the same happened when the third started until Zdeno Chara took an interference penalty – this proved to be the game’s turning  point. Martins Karsums lit a lamp on the power play. Latvia had some more man advantage time later in the game after a goalie interference call but was unable to capitalize, instead letting the Slovaks have some shorthanded chances – still, they could not get a puck across the line. Herbert Vasilijevs put the game away with two empty-netters after the Slovaks pulled goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Quite an upset by the Latvians! They advance to the quarter finals where they will face the Russians.

Game #20: Norway vs Switzerland 1:2 SO

Shots 21-21
Hits 5-12
PIMs 2:00 – 0:00
PP 0/1 – 0/0

Three Stars
1st Jonas Hiller (0.92 GAA, .952 SV%) Switzerland
2nd Reto Suri (1G, 0A, 0 Hits, 2S, +) Switzerland
3rd Lars Volden (0.92 GAA, .952 SV%) Norway

Shootout

Norway                      Switzerland
Zuccarello – save      Brunner – scored
Thoresen – miss       Romy – miss
Skrøder – miss          -

Just like in the first game, there was a favorite, this time the Swiss. They started with lots of offensive pressure and quickly jumped ahead on Reto Suri’s tally just over four minutes into the game. However, Norway did not surrender and fought hard – and was rewarded with a Kristian Forsberg goal to tie the game at one.
After the first intermission, an even game with little scoring chances developed, most of them for Norway. More of the same could be seen in the third where Switzerland had some huge chances to get the lead again, but they did not manage to score a goal. Instead, they helped the Norwegians to get some good scoring chances by commiting turnovers – luckily, goaltender Jonas Hiller bailed out his teammates on all of them.
This led to some overtime action, but even with the Norwegians down a man due to a Mats Zuccarello slashing penalty, there were no more goals. A shootout was needed to determine a winner then, and there, Damien Brunner prevailed for the Swiss, burying the first attempt. Norway’s shooters all missed, and so Switzerland moves on to play the Czech Republic in the quarter finals.

Game #21: Belarus vs Austria 0:1

Shots 14-13
Hits 5-9
PIMs 0:00 – 0:00
PP 0/0 – 0/0

Three Stars1st Markus Schoten (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 2S, +1) Austria
2nd Bernd Bruckler (Shutout) Austria
3rd Michael Grabner (0G, 1A, 0 Hits, 1S, +1) Austria

Austria started out with some good pressure, the Belarusians had scoring chances of their own though. While there was not much offense going on, Thomas Koch had a huge backhand chance but was denied.
After the first intermission, the Austrians were prone to errors which lead to some turnovers that enabled Belarus to get some quality chances in front of netminder Bernd Bruckler, but they could not capitalize. Instead, Austrian forward Michael Grabner showed all of his skill with some supreme stick handling right in the slot, scoring what was to be the only goal of the game past the midway point of the period.
In the third period, the Austrian fans showed some great support again, as there were loud “Österreich” chants again. Their team had several more good chances and showed some nice passing plays in the offensive zone but could not score again, even missing an empty net in the final minute of the third. A closer result than the game really showed.

Game #22: Finland vs USA 1:4

Shots 12-21
Hits 9-6
PIMs 0:00 – 2:00
PP 1/1 – 0/0

Three Stars
1st Ryan Kesler (2G, 1A, 1 Hit, 4S, +3)
2nd Zach Parise (1G, 1A, 1 Hit, 7S, +3)
3rd Kevin Shattenkirk (0G, 2A, Hits, 0S, +3)

Whitout a doubt this was the most anticipated game of the qualifications as the US team is amongst the favorites for the gold medal and Finland might be regarded as a possible surprise. However, the Americans showed that they were serious about making the quarter finals after a disappointing preliminary round, and not even two minutes into the game, Ryan Kesler scored the first goal of the night. Jussi Jokinen tried his best to tie the game by dangling three US players before hitting the post – tough luck. The Finns kept working hard against a strong US team that had more possession, and after Paul Stastny went to the box for high sticking, veteran Teemu Selänne scored on the power play.
In the second frame, the US got away to a great start again, with Zach Parise getting them in front with an unusual goal: The puck was slowly sliding underneath Finnish netminder Tuukka Rask from the left side, and as he laid down to cover it, it made its way through to Parise who had no problems depositing it into the net. Rask made up for it afterwards, stopping some scoring chances that looked like they were already goals. Still, he could not stop a Ryan Suter wrist shot from the point for a two goal lead for the Americans.
When it came to the final period, there was not much urgency by the Finns  – only Rask made some big stops again. Whith loud “USA” chants carrying the team, Ryan Kesler scored the final goal off a genius cross-crease pass by Patrick Kane.
That means the Americans are moving on – and facing Team Canada in the quarter finals. What a match-up this is going to be.

Just for good measure, here are the games for quarter finals again. Tune in again tomorrow to see what is going to happen next! -Yannik

Latvia (12) Russia (1)
United States (8) Canada (2)
Austria (7) Sweden (3)
Switzerland (6) Czech Republic (4)

The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Day 5 / Final day of the preliminary round

Game #15 Austria vs. Norway 2:1

Three Stars:
1st Bernd Bruckler (GAA 1.00, SV% .955, SA22)
2nd Matthias Licht (1G, 2  Hits)
3rd Mathis Olimb (1G, 1 Shot)

Shots: 10 – 22
Hits: 11 – 7
PIMs: 2:00 – 0:00
PP: 0/0 – 0/1

A game of two outsiders and it held all promises: a boring first period, followed by a boring second period with an early goal for Austria and a second with three minutes to go. Even though the Austrians  did not have many chances, the Norwegian netminder let in two goals. The third started with a lot of pressure by Austria. Norway was hemmed in their zone for pretty much the rest of the game, but managed to get within one with half a period left. Norway couldn’t convert on a follow-up power play and lost to Austria, who used their few opportunities to score. Bernd Bruckler deserved to be the first star after shutting out the Norwegian offense.

Game #16 Russia vs. Slovakia 3:0

Three Stars:
1st Ilya Kovalchuk (2G, 1A, 3 Hits)
2nd Sergei Bobrovsky (GAA 0.00, SV% 1.000)
3rd Nail Yakupov (1G)

Shots: 15 – 29
Hits: 12 – 4
PIMs: 17:00 – 15:00
PP: 0/0 – 0/1

Will the host continue his success? After a dominating victory with great team effort against the US team, Russia faced off against Slovakia which itself has a chance to move on into the next round. After a scoreless first, Kovalchuk lights it up midway through the second after a big slap shot on the rush. Ovechkin, who assisted on the tally, had a big hit at center ice which resulted in a fight and two game misconduct as well as a two-minute power play for Slovakia on which they could not score. Slovakia took over most of the game, but Russian goalie Bobrovsky denied all of them. Yakupov finally made it 2:0 on a wraparound stuffing the puck through the pad of Halak. Kovalchuk with the second of the night on an empty net finished it up.

Game #17 Belarus vs. United States 0:1

Three Stars:
1st Nikolay Kotlyar (GAA 1.01, SV% .964, SA 28)
2nd James Van Riemsdyk (GWG)
3rd Phil Kessel (1A)

Shots: 7 – 28
Hits: 4 – 9
PIMs: 4:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/0 – 0/1

The favorite struggled so far, so the big question is: can the US team bounce back and make it to the next round? James Van Riemsdyk put up the lead just 6 minutes into the game after a scrum in front of the Belarusian net. The rest of the first was all team USA. They put up 12 shot to only 3. In the second though, Belarus played a more aggressive game which did not result in quality scoring chances. Not much action till the end of the game, even though a power play for the USA after some roughing and scrumming created some chances. The US team controlled every aspect of the game and there was nothing Belarus could do to fight back or score. So the US team won a very important game to keep their hopes of a gold medal alive.

Game #18 Finland vs. Canada 1:2 OT

Three Stars:
1st Steven Stamkos (2 Pts., 5 Shots, +2)
2nd Jonathan Toews (GWG)
3rd Drew Doughty (1A)

Shots: 14 – 14
Hits: 5 – 8
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00

Final matchup of the preliminary round and Finland’s fight for a spot in the best eight teams. But against a stacked Canadian team this might be a hard fought game. The favorite started well, but had some missed shots in the first. A low-scoring affair, until the Canadians upped the pressure on the forecheck. But suddenly the Finns scored! After a lost board battle by Pietrangelo and a misread play by Bouwmeester, Korpikoski had a wide open net to score on. Just a few minutes later, Steven Stamkos tied the game after a beautiful feed by Crosby. The third started like the second ended. Action on both ends of the ice and a good defensive play of the Finns prevented more Canadian chances. Cary Price needed to flash some leather to deny a sure goal for Barkov. The game went to OT, because both teams could convert any of their remaining chances. Finally, it’s Captain Serious Jonathan Toews who put the puck through Rask’s five hole burying a rebound by Stamkos.

That’s it for the preliminary rounds of our Olympics 2014! As promised yesterday, here are the final tables, scoring lists and games for the qualification round of the playoffs.

Group A:
1.Russia           6 Pts. 3GP 10G 2GA
2. Slovakia        4 Pts. 3 GP 6G 7GA
3. United States 3 Pts. 3 GP 3G 6GA
4. Belarus         1 Pts. 3GP 4G 8GA

Group B:
1. Canada     6 Pts. 3GP 10G 2GA
2. Austria     4 Pts. 3GP 5G 7GA
3. Finland     3 Pts. 3GP 3G 4GA
4. Norway     1 Pts. 2GP 1G 6GA

Group C:
1. Czech Republic   4 Pts. 3GP 5G  4GA
2. Sweden              4 Pts. 3GP 9G 1GA
3. Switzerland         4 Pts. 3GP 5G 6GA
4. Latvia                  0Pts. 3GP 1G 9GA

Leader Points:
Sidney Crosby, Patrik Elias, Daniel Sedin & Steven Stamkos – 5 Pts
Ilya Kovalchuk – 4 Pts
10 players tied – 3 Pts

Leader Goals:
Steven Stamkos – 4G
Daniel Sedin, Ilya Kovalchuk – 3G
5 players tied – 2G

Leader Assists:
Sidney Crosby, Patrik Elias – 4A
Marian Hossa, Vyacheslav Sharov – 3A
14 players tied – 2A

Table for Qualification Quarter Finals:

1.  Russia                3GP 6 Pts 10G 2GA 8 Diff.
2.  Canada               3GP 6 Pts 9G 3GA 6 Diff.
3.  Sweden              3GP 4 Pts 9G 1GA 8 Diff.
4.  Czech Republic   3GP 4 Pts 5G 4GA 1 Diff.
5.  Slovakia              3GP 4 Pts 6G 7GA -1 Diff.
6.  Switzerland         3GP 4 Pts 5G 6GA -1 Diff.
7.  Austria                3GP 4 Pts 5G 7GA -2 Diff.
8.  United States      3GP 3 Pts 3G 6GA -3 Diff.
9.  Finland               3GP 2 Pts 3G 5GA -2 Diff.
10. Belarus             3GP 2 Pts 4G 8GA -4 Diff.
11. Norway              3GP 1 Pts 1G 6GA -5 Diff.
12. Latvia                3GP 0 Pts 1G 9GA -8 Diff.

Qualification Games:
Latvia (12) vs. Slovakia (5)
Norway (11) vs. Switzerland (6)
Belarus (10) vs. Austria (7)
Finland (9) vs. United States (8)

Some interesting qualification games! Norway vs. Switzerland seems like an even match-up, while Latvia could surprise us all if they can win against Slovakia. But the biggest match-up is clearly Finland vs. the US. The US team has had some problems throughout the tournament and need to refocus if they want to succeed and move on to the next round.

There you go!

- Marcel

 

I will be back tomorrow, bringing you the Qualification games for the Quarter final. Should be interesting, keep an eye open for possible surprises!

-Yannik

The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Day 4 / The Tale of the Missed Shot

I am back with the coverage of Day 4 of Ze German  Hockey Guys Olympics 2014! Today we have games from groups A and C. The biggest match-up is definitely the US versus Russia – two favorites,  an old rivalry. Who will succeed, who will loose? Might there be an unexpected winner in one of the other games? Let’s find out!

Game #11: Slovakia vs. Belarus 4:3 SO

Three Stars:
1st Marek Svatos (2 goals)
2nd Denis Denisov (2pts.)
3rd Vyacheslav Sharov (2 assists)

Shots: 22 – 18
Hits: 9 – 13
PIMs: 4:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 1/2

Handzus opened the game with a big hit which results in an injured Belarusian player. Good PK for Slovakia who could rely on strong goaltending by Halak. Kostitytsn tipped in the first goal of the game, no chance for Halak. Suddenly, two-nothing for Belarus on a point shot as Chara makes a perfect screen  – unfortunately on his own goalie. Slovakia with zero shots after the first! Who would’ve thought that? Belarus made it 3:0 in the second as their PP continued to score. Svatos finally put one in for Slovakia as he was wide open in the slot. With his second of the night, Svatos made it a one goal game 9 minutes into the third and with two minutes to go in regulation, Handzus tied it! Nothing really happened in OT, so it was the first SO of the tournament.
Hossa: scores – S. Kostitsyn: save
Gaborik: scores -  A. Kostitsyn: scors
Kopecky: save – Grabovski – save
The favorite wins it after trailing 3:0 midway through the game. The comeback by Slovakia might be a huge boost for their team, but trailing 0:3 for a long stretch of the game was definitely not their game plan against a weak Belarus team.

Game #12: United States vs. Russia 1:4

Three Stars:
1st Sergei Bobrovsky (GAA 1.00, SV% .952)
2nd Nikolai Kulemin (GWG)
3rd Andrei Markov (2 Assists)

Shots: 21 – 21
Hits: 7 – 10
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00

A game of two favorites for the gold medal and the first game for a US squad which has a lot of really good players, but need to play as a 5-men-unit instead of relying on their individual skills. There were chances for both teams right from the get-go and a lot of scrums after the whistle. The Russian defense – a question mark for a team which is stacked up front -  did a very good job to keep the scoring chances against them low. The young Dallas Star Nichushkin broke the tie late in the first with a backhanded one-timer low in the slot to put the puck past Ryan Miller. Clearly  a defensive mistake! The US team with a lot of pressure in the second and some near misses. Russia continued with their strong two-way play, but Miller kept the US in the game. Patrick Kane could have won the game for the US all by himself, but missed the net on three occasions. The US team relied too much on one-man-efforts and after Kulemin made it 2:0 with a 5-hole-shot on Miller the game was over. The Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk showed some of his magic to make it 3:0. The US team pulled their goalie after scoring their lone tally. But Kovalchuk put the biscuit into an empty net to destroy all dreams of a comeback. The Russians played as a team tonight which was the difference maker in this one.

Game #13: Switzerland vs. Czech Republic 3:0

Three Stars:
1st  Kevin Romy (2Pts., GWG)
2nd Jonas Hiller (GAA 0.00, SV% 1.000)
3rd Mark Streit (2 Pts., 5 shots)

Shots: 20 – 20
Hits: 7 – 13
PIMs: 0:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 0/0

Can the Czech Republic make it three? No, they could not losing to a Swiss team which played its heart out! A lot of north-south in the beginning with chances for both teams until an early penalty for the Swiss led to an one-sided game in the first. Czech goalie Pavelec held his team in the game while his counterpart Hiller at the other end denied a few quality scoring chances. The Swiss then took the lead after a horrendous defensive breakdown by NHL-veterans Kaberle and Zidlicky. Hemmed in their zone for most parts of the second period, the Czechs gave up another goal while creating no offensive pressure at all until the beginning of the third. Pavelec with a really good performance which could have earned him some star honors. Props to Hiller for his shutout who came up big at the end of the third, when the Czechs finally found some offense.

Game #14 Sweden vs. Latvia 3:0

Three Stars:
1st Daniel Sedin (2 Pts.)
2nd Oliver Ekman-Larsson (2 Pts.)
3rd Alexander Steen (GWG)

Shots: 28 – 8
Hits: 11 – 11
PIMs: 0:00 – 4:00
PP: 0/0 – 0/2

Will the underdog succeed? Will the favorite bow out? No and no. It was all Sweden in the beginning stages of this match, but the tale of the missed shot continued today. Finally, late in the first, Alex Steen put one up on the scoreboard. The Swedes controlled the play through the second, but they had to wait until late in the second to put it away after nice deflection by Daniel Sedin. Even though they failed to score on a 4-minute power play, there was never any doubt they would lose this one. Sweden kept the Latvians to only 8 shots through three periods and dominated the game in all aspects. Daniel Sedin had his second straight multi-point game, leading his team into the tournament playoffs.

Here are your groups after day 4 of the preliminary rounds:

Group A:

1.  Russia            4 Pts. 2GP 7G 2GA
2. Slovakia            4Pts. 2 GP 6G 4GA
3. Belarus            1 Pts. 2GP 4G 7GA
4. United States    1 Pts. 2 GP 2G 6GA

Group B:

1. Canada    4 Pts. 2GP 8G 1GA
2. Finland     2Pts. 2GP 2G 2GA
3. Norway    1Pts. 2GP 0G 4GA
4. Austria     2Pts. 2GP 3G 6GA

Group C:

1. Czech Republic       4 Pts. 3GP 5G  4GA
2. Sweden                  4 Pts. 3GP 9G 1GA
3. Switzerland            4 Pts. 3GP 5G 6GA
4. Latvia                     0Pts. 3GP 1G 9GA

Tomorrow I’ll be back with some coverage of the final day of the preliminary as well as a forecast of the upcoming playoff qualifications. And of course stats, leaders, tables. All the good stuff!

- Marcel

The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Day 3

Here we go again and today it’s my turn to present you Day 3 of our Olympics coverage! We have games from Groups B and C with favourites like Canada and Sweden.

Game # 7: Czech Republic vs. Latvia 4:1

Three Stars:
1st Patrick Elias (4 pts., +4)
2nd Jaromir Jagr (2pts, +3)
3rd David Krejci (+4)

Shots: 20 – 4
Hits: 5 – 9
PIMS: 0:00 – 0:00

As expected the opening minutes were all the Czechs. A lot of pressure and some great saves by Latvian netminder Arturs Dauls to keep the game tied. Suddenly a goal by the Latvian Beyer out of nowhere on an ugly rebound given up by Pavelec. The Czechs upped the pressure on the forecheck and finally got a goal by Gudas after the goalie’s 5-hole was wide open. Jagr made it 2:1 with a rebound goal after a point shot by Elias 14 minutes into the second. Krejci took the game away with a beautiful move on Dauls early in the third. He comes from behind the net, turns in front of it and buries the puck top shelf 5 minutes into the third. An empty netter by Elias sealed the deal.

Game #8: Sweden vs. Switzerland 6:0

Shots: 24 – 15
Hits: 7 – 9
PIMS: 0:00 – 0:00

Three Stars:
1st Daniel Sedin (2G, 1A)
2nd Henrik Sedin (1G, 2A)
3rd Alexander Steen (2A, 4 shots, +4)

A high-scoring affair for Tre Kronnor! Loui Eriksson started the scoring with a wraparound burying the puck top shelf on Hiller who might want to have this goal back. The Swiss were defending very efficient, until Hagelin made it 2:0. He buried his own rebound after a fancy spin-o-rama backhand shot. 5 Minutes into the second, Steen powers through the middle and gets blanked by Hiller. Chances by Landeskog and Steen again, Hiller turning them down. With three minutes left in the second, Daniel Sedin made it 3:0 after a nice feed by Steen from behind the net. 3 Minutes into the third and again it was Daniel who made it 4:0. Scrum in front of the net and Henrik got the puck to his brother who buried it stick side. For the fifth goal it was Henrik’s turn so score one and Franzen ended the Swiss’ misery with the 6th of the evening.

Game #9: Canada vs. Austria 5:1

Shots: 21 – 13
Hits: 11 – 6
PIMs: 0:00 – 2:00
PP: 1/1 – 0/0

Three Stars:
1st Steven Stamkos (2 Goals)
2nd Patrick Marleau (2 Pts.)
3rd Alex Pietrangelo (GWG)

Unsurprisingly, Carey Price was the starter for team Canada. Not many scoring chances for either team in the beginning, but one spectacular save by the Austrian netminder Bernd Bruckler who robbed Crosby. Midway through the game, Marleau broke the tie on a breakaway. Austria tied it late in the second on a defensive breakdown by the Canadians, only to take a penalty seconds later. The third started with the lethal Canadian PP and a beauty by Pietrangelo who skated from the circle into the slot to put it top shelf. Tavares took the game away with a tip-in and Stamkos sealed it with a wrister from the slot. Canadas’s offense was as dangerous as it gets, but they played really sloppy defensively. Against a better team than Austria they might get into trouble.

Game #10 Norway vs. Finland 0:1 OT

Shots: 25 – 27
Hits: 10 – 13
PIMs: 2:00 -  4:00
PP: 0/2 – 0/1

Three Stars:
1st Tuukka Rask (GAA 0.00, SV% 1.000)
2nd Tuomo Ruutu (GWG)
3rd Lars Volden (GAA 0.93, SV% .963)

Chances for both teams in the first. Finland wasn not quite as dominant as one might expected. A lot of circling, but not many good shots on goal. All the same as they started the second. Norway with a lot of pressure, the Fins are hemmed in their zone. Midway through the game, Finland found themselves down two men, but could kill the penalties off. Finland started the third with a PP and finally they got some quality chances, including hitting the crossbar in the final minute of regulation. Norway was strong in OT, but again no results. Tuomo Ruutu sniped the game-winning goal in the last minute of OT.

That’s it for day 3. Finally, the overview for groups A, B & C:

Group A

1. Russia               2Pts, 1GP, 3G, 1GA
2. Slovakia           2Pts, 1GP, 2G, 1GA
3. United States  1Pt, 1GP, 1G, 2GA
4. Belarus            0Pts, 1GP, 1G, 3GA

Group B:

1. Canada      4Pts. 2GP 8G 1GA
2. Finland     2 Pts. 2GP 2G 2GA
3. Austria      2Pts. 2GP 3G 6GA
4. Norway      1Pts. 2GP 0G 4GA

Group C:

1. Sweden                   2Pts. 2GP 6G 1GA
2. Czech Republic      4Pts. 2GP 5G 1GA
3. Switzerland           2Pts. 2GP 2G 6GA
4. Latvia                     0Pts. 2GP 1G 6GA

-Marcel

The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014 – Day 2

We are back with more Olympic coverage. Today, groups A and B kicked of their schedules after group C already saw some action on day one. The “big three” all played their first games, and there have been some surprises. So, without further ado, here is

Game #3: Finland vs Austria 1:2

Shots: 18-11
Hits: 6-2
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00

Three Stars:
1st Dieter Kalt (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 2S, +/- 0), Austria
2nd Bernd Bruckler (1.00 GAA, .944 SV%), Austria
3rd Matthias Licht (1G, 0A, 0 Hits, 1S, +/- 1), Austria

The Finns are thought to possibly be one of the surprises of the tournament – instead, it was the Austrians that surprised the hockey world with their 2-1 victory. Finland began the game a little stronger than Austria, but the underdogs had their chances as well. The first period certainly was no eye-catcher, but that changed after the first intermission. Finland showed more offensive pressure, and it paid off: Lauri Korpikoski deflected an Olli Määtä slapshot to get his team on the board. However, the Austrians showed signs of things yet to come, especially when Thomas Vanek’s huge scoring chance was saved by Tuukka Rask in the last minute of the period. Finland started the final frame with great passing in the offensive zone, but when Austria’s Matthias Licht hung three Finns out to dry, the game got tied. Not even five minutes later, Dieter Kalt potted another after a great cross-crease pass. Loud “Österreich” chants filled the arena as the Austrians continued to put on pressure, and it worked – Finland could not get another goal. A devastating start for the group around Teemu Selänne.

Game #4: Russia vs Belarus 3:1

Shots: 27-17
Hits: 14-3
PIMs: 2:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 0/1

Three Stars:
1st Alexander Ovechkin (1G, 0A, 2 Hits, 7S, +/- 1), Russia
2nd Vladimir Tarasenko (1G, 0A, 2 Hits, 3S, +/- 1), Russia
3rd Sergei Malevich (1G, 0A, 0 Hits, 2S, +/- 0), Belarus

The hosts of the Olympics played their first game against Belarus (who substituted for Slovenia, just to remind you) and was the obvious favorite in this matchup. It showed right in the first period: The Russians dominated the physical game and had a commanding 3-0 lead once the first period ended. Vladimir Tarasenko netted the first puck when he deflected a slapshot into the cage, while Alexander Ovechkin buried his own rebound roughly four minutes later before Nail Yakupov scored the third goal of the night only seven seconds before the buzzer.
The second period looked a little different though: Belarus started to play somewhat stronger, and Sergei Malevich got them on the board three minutes from the end of the second. Russia was still the better team, although there were not as many scoring chances as before. However, they returned in the final stanza – none of them would go in, though. The Russians dominated the period but could not extend their lead. Still, they got the two points they were hoping for.

Game #5: Slovakia vs USA 2:1 OT

Shots: 17-21
Hits: 10-14
PIMs: 0:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 0/0

Three Stars:
1st Andrej Meszaros (1G, 0A, 3 Hits, 2S, +/- 2), Slovakia
2nd Jaroslav Halak (0.98 GAA, .952 SV%), Slovakia
3rd Marian Gaborik (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 4S, +/-2), Slovakia

A great matchup that held what it promised beforehand: It is not big news that Slovakia fields a team that should be on everyone’s radar by now, and the United States are among the favorites for the gold medal anyway. However, US defenseman Ryan Suter had a bad start to the game: Marian Gaborik ran into him, causing him to sit out the rest of the game with a lower body injury.
Gaborik was not done yet: After a great cross-crease pass from Marian Hossa, he beat Ryan Miller for the 1-0 lead. That proved to be the wake-up call for the US boys: While the Slovaks played better offensively before the goal, it was them that now put on the pressure. They managed to carry that over into the second period, and they got their chances because of it. Zach Parise just missed the net from right in the slot towards the end, and Slovakia’s goaltender Jaroslav Halak had to come up with a big stop on a breakaway, again facing Parise. Max Pacioretty was also close when he batted a puck out of mid-air, it stayed out however.
After the second intermission, the US did not take much time: Dustin Brown deflected a Brooks Orpik slapshot past Halak to finally tie it up. It was a relatively even period, though Parise again had a great scoring chance after he showed some nice hands. Still, no goal for Zach, the game went to overtime.
Defenseman Andrej Meszaros did not waste any time in the extra frame, blasting a slapshot past Ryan Miller after only 1:25 minutes played – certainly another surprise on day 2.

Game #6: Canada vs Norway 3:0

Shots: 29-17
Hits: 16-3
PIMs: 0:00 – 2:00
PP: 0/1 – 0/0

Three Stars:
1st Sidney Crosby (1G, 1A, 5 Hits, 2S, +/- 3), Canada
2nd Lars Volden (1.01 GAA, .963 SV%), Norway
3rd Carey Price (0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%)

In their first game, the heavily favored Canadians faced Norway. They did not look like favorites from the start though: Turnovers really were a problem in the first period, though the chances were there. Luckily for them, Carey Price brought his A-game in net and bailed out his teammates several times.
After the first intermission, Canada picked up the pace, lead by defenseman Shea Weber who threw his weight around more than just a couple of times, seemingly sparking his teammates. Sidney Crosby got Canada’s first goal of the tournament 4:28 minutes into the game by deflecting a wrist shot from defenseman Duncan Keith. That was it for the second period though, and it did not look much better once the players returned from the second intermission.
Now it was Norways netminder Lars Volden’s time to shine: Canada dominated the game, but could not manage to put the biscuit in the basket. When they did not miss the net, Volden was there in time. That allowed Norway to pull him in the final minute of the game to try and tie it up, however Corey Perry and Steven Stamkos put an end to that dream with empty-net goals to secure two points for the Canadians.

That wraps up day 2 of our own Olympic action. Make sure to stop by tomorrow for more exclusive coverage! Here are the current standings:

Group A

  1. Russia            2Pts, 1GP, 3G, 1GA
  2. Slovakia          2Pts, 1GP, 2G, 1GA
  3. United States  1Pt, 1GP, 1G, 2GA
  4. Belarus           0Pts, 1GP, 1G, 3GA

Group B

  1. Canada           2Pts, 1GP, 3G, 0GA
  2. Austria            2Pts, 1GP, 2G, 1GA
  3. Finland            0Pts, 1GP, 1G, 2GA
  4. Norway            0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 3GA

Group C

  1. Switzerland        2Pts, 1GP, 2G, 0GA
  2. Czech Republic 2Pts, 1GP, 1G, 0GA
  3. Sweden             0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 1GA
  4. Latvia                0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 2GA

-Yannik

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The Ze German Hockey Guys Olympics 2014

Long time, no post. We are back though, with some new ideas!
The first one struck me when I recently downloaded the latest roster update for EA’s NHL 14. It contained the (not entirely accurate) rosters for the 2014 Winter Olympics. If you are like us, you can’t wait for them to get underway, so I thought we might start out Sochi a little earlier than planned.

We will bring you our coverage of the virtual Olympics. That means that every day, we will publish game reports of those games that are played on the same day. That means we are going to start out with day one and the Czech Republic vs Sweden plus Latvia vs Switzerland.

This works as follows: We watch the games in NHL 14 as the CPU plays itself, take notes and write down some stats and publish the results. That way, you will have your Gold Medal winner the day the actual Olympics start. The rules are simple: Five-minute periods, international ice, no-touch icing. Injuries are enabled but do not carry over since that’s not really possible in a practicable way. Also, we had to replace Slovenia with Belarus since the team is abscent from the game. The real tournament mode employed in the Olympics will be used.

So, do you got your popcorn and cold drinks? ‘Cause here we go!

Game #1: Czech Republic vs Team Sweden 1:0

Shots: 10-22
Hits: 10-10
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00

Three Stars:
1st Ondrej Pavelec (0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%)
2nd Jaromir Jagr (1G, 0A, 1 Hit, 4S, +/- 1)
3rd Marek Zidlicky (0G, 1A, 0 Hits, 0S, +/- 1)

The stacked Swedes faced the Czechs around Jaromir Jagr for the first game of the tournament. And the oldie immediately showed that he’s still got it: Just 47 seconds in, he buried a Patrik Elias rebound for the 1-0 lead. No one knew that this would prove to be the game winner, but it sure did not come easy. The Czech team had more puck possession, but committed too many turnovers which led to quite some chances for Sweden. However, they had to face a rock-solid Ondrej Pavelec in net, and he held his ground through all three periods. Pavelec put up a great effort, especially late in the game when he had to make several big stops. By that point, the Swedes finally dominated the possession game but just could not get a puck past the 26 year-old netminder.
He earned himself first star of the game honors, even before the lone goalscorer in Jaromir Jagr. Marek Zidlicky completed the trio with a great defensive outing. A great start for the Czech Republic against the favored Swedes who will look to convert on their numerous chances when they face Team Switzerland on day three.

Game #2: Latvia vs Switzerland 0:2

Shots: 19-27
Hits: 9-3
PIMs: 4:00 – 0:00PP: 0/0 – 1/1

Three Stars:
1st Jonas Hiller (0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%, 19SA)
2nd Yannick Weber (1G, 0A, 2 Hits, 2S, +/- 0)
3rd Damien Brunner (1G, 0A, 0 Hits, 2S, +/- 1)

In the second match-up of the day, Latvia faced Switzerland. Not exactly a game with much star power, but with a clear favorite in the Swiss boys. That showed from the get-go: They had ownership papers to the puck but could not get many shots on net. As the first period progressed, Latvia got a little stronger and kept it up once the second period started – until the game reached its turning point: Latvias Herbert Vasilijevs had to sit in the box after getting a double minor for slashing. Switzerland could not seem to make good use of the power play til 14:58 in the second. Defenseman Yannick Weber’s point shot found the twine to make it 1-0, and after that weight was finally lifted of the Swiss’ back, they got a lot stronger. They managed to carry it over into the final stanza where Damien Brunner made it a two-goal lead after a remarkable effort, leaving two defensemen and Latvia’s goaltender Arturs Dauls in the dust and making 2-0 the final score.

That leaves us with the following standings for Group C:

  1. Switzerland        2Pts, 1GP, 2G, 0GA
  2. Czech Republic 2Pts, 1GP, 1G, 0GA
  3. Sweden             0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 1GA
  4. Latvia                0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 2GA

So much for day one. Tune in tomorrow for our exclusive day two coverage!

-Yannik

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Game day – with emphasis on “day”

What a rare occurence: An actual game day (not night, see The Average Game Night for more info on that)! Today’s Flyers game against the Oilers starts at 1pm over in Philly, which means I get to enjoy the “regular” puck drop time at 7pm even across the pond.

Thing is, I am not that excited for the game. I am still going to watch it, no matter what, but the Flyers season so far leaves a lot to be desired – and does not exactly make fans excited for upcoming games.

Our offense seemingly disappeared over the summer, and we all know that the defense is still a problem. Ironically, the one position we were constantly worried about for the last 15 years is the only one that is solid: The goaltenders. Ray Emery has been solid in his few starts so far, and Steve Mason… well, he is not called “Stone Cold Steve Mason” for nothing. He has been spectacular so far.

So, is this going to be a breakout game? I mean, the Oilers are the team with the most goals against to date, while the Flyers are the squad with the least lamps lit. If that is not going to be able to kickstart your offense, then what? It could just be a terrible slump that other teams experience mid-season, but since it happens right at the start, it draws more attention, especially with Claude Giroux still goal-less so far.

Let’s just say it can’t get much worse from here on out. The game the Flyers hit rock bottom has to be the 2-1 loss in OT against Carolina. That game was so incredibly bad on both sides that I fell asleep multiple times, and that was not a result of the time.

There is still hope, but this team needs to stop spinning its tires very soon if this season is going to be worth something. Personally, I hope that the game tonight (today for you guys across the pond) is a start.

No matter how bad the situation, I am not missing out on the rare occasion of 7pm hockey.

 

PS: I was asked if I play hockey twice at the rink yesterday, so my skating appears not to be that bad. That’s positive.

-Yannik

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