Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic Men's Hockey Day 3 Review

Slovakia 2 - Russia 1 (F - SO)
Slovakia completed the first upset of the Olympics in Men's Hockey. After fighting to get back into the game, the Slovaks finally found the equalizer in the third period off the stick of Marian Hossa. Pavol Demitra's pass found Hossa in the slot and he beat a suprised Ilya Bryzgalov. Unlike the Canadians, the Russians were not victimized by a hot goalie in Jaroslav Halak, but were just not the dominant team one might have expected.

The underrated Slovaks pushed the game to overtime and then a shootout where it went an incredible 7 rounds before Pavol Demitra made a beautiful move, out-waiting Bryzgalov before floating it into the top corner. The Slovaks put forward a gutsy effort in a much needed victory in order to stay alive in the 'Group of Death'.

Slovakia plays Latvia on Saturday while the Russians play the Czechs on Sunday.

Canada 3 - Switzerland 2 (S/O F)
Switzerland provided the Canadians with everything they could handle. Well, at least Jonas Hiller did. The Swiss goalie kept the Swiss in a game they probably had no business being in.

Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau scored goals early in the first and second period, but Jonas Hiller shut the door after that. The Canadians outshot the Swiss 47-23 but were unable to beat Hiller a third time until the shootout.

The Swiss played a strong positional game and did their best to thwart Canadian forays and managed to score a nice goal on a transition play, and then a lucky one off of Patrick Marleau's skate to tie the game at two. The Canadians outshot the Swiss 18-3 in the third period but could not find a third goal.

In the shootout, Canada sent Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Ryan Getzlaf but none were able to score. None of the Swiss shooters could score so it went to sudden death rounds. Canada sent Sidney Crosby back out and he fired a quick wrister to give the Canadians the edge. Martin Brodeur then stopped the last Swiss shooter and Canada grabbed the victory.

Canadas next game is Sunday against the Americans.

USA 6 - Norway 1
The USA continued its strong play today with a convincing win over Norway. The Americans held the Norwegians to only 11 shots while directing 39 of their own towards their opponent's net.

Brian Rafalski led the way with two goals as the Americans won their second straight game to sit atop their division with the Canadians, Swiss, and Norwegians.

USA plays Canada on Sunday night to decide the Division and quite possibly who advances to the Quarterfinals or who has to compete in the qualification round to enter the quarterfinals.

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