The day of judgment was at hand.
The day of judgment in men’s Olympic ice hockey, that is.
If you were brave enough to get up at 3am, then you watched Slovenia beat Austria 4-0 with Anze Kopitar kicking off the scoring in the first period. Slovenia will be facing Sweden tomorrow morning.
Norway played against Russia without their only NHL player, Mats Zuccarello. Their first period was strong and Russia looked rather discombobulated. Alexander Radulov got a goal in the first few minutes of the second period (and an empty netter at the end to seal the victory), and the entire country of Russia breathed a sigh of relief. Goals also came from Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexei Tereshenko.
Of course, Pavel Datsyuk had three assists in the game and during one bit of excellent dekeing, was described by the BBC announces as “a sheet flapping on a clothesline.” (Hey, it was the only feed of the game I could find. Plus, I haven’t heard their phrases thousands of times and want to bash them with bricks.)
If Russia wants to be a force to be reckoned with on their way to the Gold Medal, they need to get some of their lesser players to start scoring and creating chances. Tuesday’s game, the names I heard constantly were Datsyuk (obviously), Ilya Kovalchuk, and the BBC announcers on my feed kept saying how Alex Ovechkin needed to get out of whatever funk he was in. He was tripped on a clear breakaway and received no call. You can tell he’s trying to hard to break this dry offensive spell.
12pm saw both the Latvia/Switzerland and Slovakia/Czech Republic games. Latvia jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead to everyone’s surprise; Jonas Hiller giving up that many goals in one game seemed crazy.
The Czech Republic also racked up the goals against Slovakia, taking a 3-0 lead and then a 4-0 to end the first two periods. Marian Hossa, however, scored two goals in the first eight minutes of the third period to cut the Czechs’ lead in half. Tomas Surovy scored not two minutes later to bring it to 4-3 and put the Czech Republic on their toes. Tomas Tatar had an assist on Hossa’s second goal. But Slovakia took a penalty in the last minute of the third period, and the Czech Republic sealed the deal with an empty net goal.
The Red Wings still have eight players left in the Olympics with Tatar and Tomas Jurco headed home. Check out below for a summary of Tuesday’s games and the schedule for Wednesday’s match-ups. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Elimination Day Scores
Slovenia 4, Austria 0
Russia 4, Norway 0
Latvia 3, Switzerland 1
Slovakia 3, Czech Republic 5
Wednesday’s Schedule of Match-Ups
Sweden vs. Slovenia – 3am
Finland vs. Russia – 7:30am
Canada vs. Latvia – 12pm
USA vs. Slovakia/Czech Republic – 12pm
And, of course, your bracket: