Game #15 Austria vs. Norway 2:1
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Sidney Crosby, Patrik Elias, Daniel Sedin & Steven Stamkos – 5 Pts
Ilya Kovalchuk – 4 Pts
10 players tied – 3 Pts
Steven Stamkos – 4G
Daniel Sedin, Ilya Kovalchuk – 3G
5 players tied – 2G
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.
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!
I will be back tomorrow, bringing you the Qualification games for the Quarter final. Should be interesting, keep an eye open for possible surprises!