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
PIMs 0:00 – 4:00
PP 0/2 – 0/0
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
PIMs 6:00 – 0:00
PP 0/0 – 1/3
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:
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
After Preliminary Round
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|
|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|
|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|
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.