Olympic Hockey Update
The men’s Olympic hockey tournament is finally under way and here are the results from the two first days of games (see seperate stories for Team USA and Team Canada).
2/12 Czech Republic – Sweden 2-4
Comment: The Swedes came out firing on all cylinders in the opening game against the Czech Republic. Sweden went up to a 4-0 lead after goals by Erik Karlsson, Patrik Berglund and Henrik Zetterberg. Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators was the man of the match with his two goals and he played alongside Phoenix Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson who had two assists. Jakub Kovar didn’t have a good night in net for the Czechs and he was replaced by Alexander Salak after letting in three goals.
2/12 Latvia – Switzerland 0-1
Comment: The Latvian team lead by head coach Ted Nolan put up a great fight against the Swiss, but suffered a heart-breaking defeat when Simon Moser scored with 7.9 seconds left in the game. Edgars Masalskis in the Latvian net had 38 saves and was the main reason for Latvia sticking in this game for almost a full 60 minutes. Anaheim Ducks star Jonas Hiller had 21 saves for Switzerland.
2/13 Finland – Austria 8-4
Comment: A goalscoring fiesta took place in the early game on Thursday when Finland put up eight goals on Austria. New York Islanders’ Michael Grabner had a hat trick for the Austrians, but he alone couldn’t stop the Finnish lions to grab a well-deserved victory. Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild scored two goals and had an assist. Young Anaheim Ducks defenceman Sami Vatanen had three assists. The Finns put 52 shots on Bernhard Starkbaum in the Austrian net.
2/13 Russia – Slovenia 5-2
Comment: Russia took care of business in its opening game against Slovenia. Alexander Ovechkin got the first goal of the game after just 1:17 of the first period. Evgeni Malkin made it 2-0 after 3:54. Ziga Jeglic had a good game for Slovenia and scored two goals. His 1-2 after 1:43 in the second period put some life in the game, but former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuck made it 3-1 Russia before Jeglic grabbed his second goal of the night late in the period to make it 3-2. Valeri Nichushkin and Anton Belov finished the scoring and Russia were never in any danger of losing this game. Shots 35-14 in favor of Russia.