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
PIMs: 0:00 – 0:00
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
PIMs: 4:00 – 0:00PP: 0/0 – 1/1
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:
- Switzerland 2Pts, 1GP, 2G, 0GA
- Czech Republic 2Pts, 1GP, 1G, 0GA
- Sweden 0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 1GA
- Latvia 0Pts, 1GP, 0G, 2GA
So much for day one. Tune in tomorrow for our exclusive day two coverage!