There were four Olympic men’s hockey games played today, two in Group B and Two in Group C. In Group B, Canada took on Austria, and Finland faced Norway. For Group C, Sweden played Finland, while the Czech Republic took on Latvia. Here are the recaps:
In the first of the Group B games, Canada won a decisive 6-0 victory over Austria, giving up only 23 shots on goal. Canada spent 8 minutes on the penalty kill throughout the game, but Austria wasn’t able to convert. The good news for Jackets fans is the the much-disliked Jeff Carter played as Team Canada’s 13th forward and the fewest minutes of ice time of any player on the team. The bad news, however, is that he got a hat trick. He scored three of Canada’s six goals in the game against Austria, all in less than five minutes of ice time. I know, not cool. The other three goals were scored by Ryan Getzlav, Drew Doughty and Shea Weber.
Next, we have another decisive win, with Finland trumping Norway 6-1. After leaving the previous game early with an upper-body injury, Teemu Selanne opened the scoring for Finland at the 5:46 mark of the opening period. He is the oldest player at the Olympics, and that goal earned him the title of oldest hockey player to score a goal in the Olympics. In regards to injury, the Finns certainly gained from having Selanne back in the lineup, but during the game lost Aleksander Barkov to a lower-body injury. Finland faces Canada on Sunday, and that will definitely be the most challenging game for them yet. They hope to have Barkov back in the lineup for that game, because whoever wins that game is guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals.
The first game in Group C today was a much closer game between Sweden and Switzerland, with Sweden coming out on top by the score of 1-0. Sweden came into the game facing a tough loss of their captain Henrik Zetterburg to injury, and had to name Niklas Kronwall captain in his absence. Within 7 minutes, Switzerland outshot Sweden 8-2, but then gave up a penalty. However, neither team scored. By the end of period one, Sweden had been outshot 13-5, but the game remained scoreless all the way into period three. In the final period of the game, Daniel Alfredsson buried the puck for the game-winning goal for Sweden.
Lastly, we had the Czech Republic topping Latvia 4-2. Martin Erat opened the scoring for the Czechs. He was followed by Latvia’s Janis Sprukts who tied the game at one apiece. With 31 second left in period number one, however, the five-time Olympian Jaromir Jagr scored the go-ahead goal fro the Czechs, marking his second goal in the Sochi Games. At the beginning of period number two, Latvia’s Herberts Vasiljevs tied the game up yet again, making it two all. The Czech’s third goal, the game-winner, came from former Blue Jacket Jakub Voracek. Both teams were winless coming into this game, so now the Czech Republic is 1-1 while Latvia will look to rebound on Sunday against Sweden after starting the Games 0-2.