Olympic Hockey Recap: Feb 16

Phil Kessel, American hero - Martin Rose

All the preliminaries have been played and the stage is set for the knockout rounds to begin.

Austria 3 - 1 Norway (Group B)

Michael Grabner comes in #2 in overall scoring at this tournament after the preliminaries behind [spoiler] with another two goals and an assist in the win. At one point, Norway forced Austrian goaltender Matthias Lange to stop 14 shots unanswered, but he was up to the task. Austria lands your 9th seed with the victory; Norway falls to 12th.

USA 5 - 1 Slovenia (Group A)

That overall tournament points leader? Phil Goddamn Kessel, who notched a hat trick over Slovenia today in the victory. Anze Kopitar disappeared from this game midway through, which turned out to be some kind of stomach illness. Your other US goal scorers are David Backes and Ryan McDonagh.

Ryan Miller got the start in goal and made 17 saves. His shutout bid was rudely broken with less than a minute remaining. USA lands the #2 overall seed on the back of the largest goal differential in the tournament.

Russia 1 - 0 Slovakia (SO) (Group A)

Semyon Varlamov vs. Jaroslav Halak Peter Budaj hang on who is Jan Laco? .....KHL.........Donbass.......ok. Not happy with the performance of his team so far, the Slovak coaching staff went with their third goalie, who stopped all 36 shots he faced, with a little help from his red metal friends. More than once Russia looked like they took the lead only to find out they had hit a post, or a crossbar, or both. Russia was flat at times, allowing 27 shots, which Varlamov stopped all of himself. He was also a perfect 2/2 in the shootout. Great game from him!

Given the next result, a big win for Russia could have given them a ticket to the quarterfinals, but only getting 2 points out of this game ensured their fate as the 5th seed.

Canada 2 - 1 Finland (OT) (Group B)

Drew Doughty, please calm down and share the goalscoring love. He had both of Canada's goals in this one, including the game winner in overtime. Tuomo Ruutu scored for Finland on a redirected shot by Ossi Vannanen. There were a grand total of 42 SOG in this game between the teams, leading Matt Duchene to make some remarks in the media afterwards about how big ice leads to more defensive play, and how he would not want this in the NHL because it is stifling to offense. Big response from media guys like "so ironic because he would excel on big ice!" but I think Matt knows what he's talking about, since he came over and played on it for half a year during the lockout too.

Only getting 2 points out of this game means Canada will finish in your #3 spot. Finland securing one gives then #4 and the final bye into the quarterfinals.

We'll take a day off tomorrow, then the qualification round begins on Tuesday!

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