In the wee hours of the morning, Sweden faced off against Slovenia. And probably to no one’s surprise, Team Sweden came out dominant, Henrik Lundqvist acquiring a shutout simply with his handsomeness. Sweden is the only team to win all of their games in regulation, and that’s without Captain Sweden (Henrik Zetterberg), Henrik Sedin, and Johan Franzen (or Johan Forward, as my TSN app told me).
The Russian team simply could not get it done these Olympics. And maybe after all the hype, we’re not that surprised. Finland defeated Russia 3-1 to knock them out of medal contention. Our review of the game can be found here. If you’re a Red Wings fan, you’re probably okay with Russia being out of the games so Datsyuk can have a few extra days of rest. However, you can’t help but feel for him in this situation. His disappointment is almost palpable.
Canada/Latvia and USA/Czech Republic unfortunately played at the same time. Let’s just say that streaming them in separate browsers on separate screens can get a little confusing…
USA/Czech Republic: James van Riemsdyk scored a minute and a half into the game, but Ales Hemsky tied it up three minutes later. The period ended with a last second goal by David Backes to take the USA up 3-1.
What else can be said about this game? The USA won 5-2, Hemsky with the other Czech goal and Zach Parise and Phil Kessel the other two for the US. Not that the Czech Republic played poorly by any means–they had me concerned in the first period, though that Backes goal seemed to deflate them. Even with a goaltender change, it did not matter.
Canada/Latvia: Patrick Sharp kicked off the scoring of this incredibly high-paced, nerve-wracking game. But the 1-0 Canada lead lasted only two minutes. And the unsung hero of this game was, without a doubt, the Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis.
Things got tricky when Canada appeared to score halfway through the third period, but the refs didn’t signal on the ice. Upon further inspection in a replay, the puck slowly trickled past Gudlevskis the goaltender, but a Latvian player covered it with his hand and pushed it underneath Gudlevskis. Had the referee caught this, it would have resulted in a penalty shot for Canada.
After a slightly longer break where it seemed as though Gudlevskis was overheating/cramping/struggling after 51 saves and intense pressure, Shea Weber fired a rocket into the back of the net. The closing minutes of the third period were intense, but Canada held out and won 2-1.
See Friday’s schedule below, but it will be Sweden against Finland and Canada against the USA. Let the games commence!
Sweden 5, Slovenia 0
Finland 3, Russia 1
USA 5, Czech Republic 2
Canada 2, Latvia 1
Sweden vs. Finland at 7:00am – it’s a great rematch of the 2006 gold medal game.
USA vs. Canada 12pm