With the gold medal game in the men’s hockey tournament coming up today, there is an issue that is in the back of the minds of all the hockey fans. The NHL is threatening to not send professional players to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia and other Winter Olympiads in the future. This Canada vs. USA gold medal game could be the last one ever.
Gary Bettman argues that it costs the NHL money to shut down the season in the middle of the playoff drive. It disrupts the season. He doesn’t like trusting the NHL’s best players to the International Olympic Committee.
Bronze - 4th Finland 3 Sweden 2 (overtime) Teams exchanged goals throughout regulation, with Finland holding a 1-0 and 2-1 lead. In overtime, it was Karoliina Rantamaki scoring the game winner for Finland. Sara Grahn was solid in net for Sweden. She was the busier goalie facing 24 shots. Noora Raty of Finland faced 18 shots and won the game. Finland wins the bronze medal.
The men’s hockey tournament continued in the Olympics yesterday. After a preliminary round and some qualifying games, we have hit the first games where significant teams will be eliminated. Here are the results:
USA 2 Switzerland 0 USA carried the play through most of the game, but had trouble scoring on Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller (who faced 43 shots). It was third period before Zach Parise scored the first goal of the game. He added another in the closing minute into an empty net. Ryan Miller had a 19 save shutout.
After the conclusion of the men’s preliminary round in the hockey tournament, the bottom eight teams had to play a qualifying game to get to the final eight. Here are the results:
Switzerland 3 Belarus 2 (shootout) The game opened with an Aleksei Kalyuzhny goal, which put Belarus up 1-0. Julien Sprunger tied it up for Switzerland midway through the first period. Teams exchanged goals in the second period with Hnat Domenichelli scoring for Switzerland and Konstantin Zakharov scoring for Belarus. Switzerland pressed hard to win the game. They outshot Belarus nearly 2-1 (43-22). Andrei Mezin was strong in the Belarus net. Jonas Hiller was the Swiss goalie. After the game ended a tie, they drew straws or had some kind of skills competition and Switzerland won it.
The semi-finals in the women’s Olympic hockey tournament were yesterday. These semi-finals pitted USA against Sweden and Canada against Finland. The preliminary round results are here.
USA 9 Sweden 1 This game was never really in doubt. USA scored first and scored often. They had a 4-0 lead midway through the second period when Pernilla Winberg scored a power play goal for Sweden. Monique Lamoreux scored a hat trick for the Americans, with Karen Thatcher, Caitlin Cahow, Jenny Potter, Jocelyne Lamoreux, Natalie Darwitz, Hilary Knight and Molly Engstrom all adding two points each. Jesse Vetter stopped 11 of 12 shots for the win. Kim Martin was much busier for Sweden. She faced 46 shots.
The preliminary round is complete in the men’s hockey tournament in the Olympics. Teams were sorted into three groups of four teams each. They played a round robin tournament in each group. The winner in each group, plus the best record of the non-winners receive a bye into the quarter-finals. The eight lower finishers must play a qualifying game to make the quarterfinals.
Here are the preliminary round results:
One week into the Olympics and Sergei Kostitsyn is the top scorer in the tournament so far? He has five points in three games so far (granted the top teams have not played their third game yet). Kostitsyn has been in and out of the minors in the NHL. Is this a sign that he has turned the corner and is becoming a solid NHL calibre player?
In 2003, the International Ice Hockey Federation changed its rules. If a player played for a nation in an international tournament, he can change his nationality if he wishes to if he plays for four years in another country where he is a citizen. Thus a player who has dual citizenship can change the nation that he plays for during his career. Potentially this can set up a situation where a country with a significant number of hockey teams (Canada, USA, Russia perhaps) recruits players from other nations to come play with their nation to build a superpower. USA attempted this in the past. They had recruited Tony Esposito, Chico Resch and Bryan Trottier, who are all Canadian born to play for USA in Canada Cup tournaments in the 1980’s.
The preliminary round in the women’s hockey tournament completed yesterday. The women’s tournament is split into two four team groups that played a round robin tournament. After it is completed, the top two teams in each group carry on to the medal round. Winners of each group play second place in the other group in a semi-final and the winners of those games move on to the gold-silver game, while the losers play for bronze and 4th place.
Here are the results:
About The Puck Stops Here
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