Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 02/18/14 at 07:22 AM ET
Of course, the odds are heavily against Slovenia in a clash with the Swedes, who previously won Olympic gold in 1994 and 2006 and are the defending World Champions. But just making the final eight in Sochi is a triumph in itself. Slovenia has never played in any quarter-final in elite international hockey before, including the Yugoslavia era. It’s the biggest event in Slovenia’s young hockey history, dating back to 1992.
"Three days ago they said it was the biggest win, against Slovakia, in Slovenian history," said Slovenia's Sabahudin Kovacevic. "But now, I think this one is the biggest."
In front of 6,821 fans, Kovacevic set the tone with a goal and an assist, and Anze Kopitar and Jan Urbas added singles. David Rodman had two assists.
Kopitar said: "Yesterday I was talking to a certain someone who knows a lot about the game of hockey and he said that he’s been following us the last couple of years and he said we’ve done a tremendous work. You can just tell it’s a huge jump from where we were five years ago. To hear that from a guy like that, it’s unbelievable."
Asked to identify the "certain someone," Kopitar said: "A guy named Steve Yzerman."
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