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Olympic Hockey - Preliminary Round

The preliminary round has just completed in the Men's hockey tournament at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  Teams were sorted into three groups of four teams each that played a round robin tournament.  Here are the results:

Group A:

1. USA.  The Americans won all three games they played, but did not collect a perfect nine points since they required a shootout to beat Russia.  They were led offensively by Phil Kessel who leads the tournament in scoring so far.  TJ Oshie and Joe Pavelski have also had strong offensive performances.  Jonathan quick has been their top goalie.

2. Russia.  The Russians went two and one.  They lost to USA in a shootout and required another shootout to defeat Slovakia.  This gives them six points.  Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Radulov have led them offensively.  Andrei Markov has been their top defenceman.  Semyon Varlamov has been their top defenceman.

3. Slovenia.  Slovenia won their game against Slovakia in order to finish third in this group.  Ziga Jeglic has been their top scorer.  Anze Kopitar and Marcel Rodman have also contributed.  Robert Kristan has been their top goalie.

4. Slovakia.  The Slovaks didn't win any games, but earned one point with their shootout loss to Russia.  Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar scored their two goals.  Jaroslav Halak has been their top goaltender so far, but he hasn't posted strong numbers.

Group B:

1.  Canada.  The Canadians won their three games, but required overtime to beat Finland.  This gave them eight points.  Jeff Carter has been their top scoring forward.  Drew Doughty and Shea Weber have been strong on defence.  Carey Price has been the number one goalie so far.

2. Finland.  The Finns went two and one.  They gathered seven points since their loss was in overtime.  Tuomo Ruuttu has been their top scoring forward so far.  Olli Maatta and Sami Vatanen have produced well on defence.  Tuukka Rask has been their top goalie.

3.  Austria.  The Austrians defeated Norway to take third in this group.  Michael Grabner has been the majority of their offence.  He has five goals and an assist on a team that scored seven goals so far.  Michael Raffl has three points and is their only other significant scorer.  Mathias Lange appears to have taken over as their top goalie as he backstopped the win.

4. Norway.  The Norwegians lost three games and scored only three goals.  Their offence has been led by Per-Age Skroder who scored two of the goals and Patrick Thoresen, who scored the other goal.  Lars Haugen has been the top goalie for this team. 

Group C:

1. Sweden.  The Swedes are the only team to win all their games in regulation and get nine points.  Daniel Alfredsson and Patrik Berglund led their forwards in scoring.  Erik Karlsson, from defence, leads the team in scoring.  Henrik Lundqvist has been the team's goaltender.

2. Switzerland.  The Swiss have been an interesting team in that three goals total have been scored in all three of their games.  They won twice 1-0 and lost once 1-0.  Simon Moser and Simon Bodenmann scored their goals.  Jonas Hiller is their top goaltender with two games played and two shutouts.

3.  Czech Republic.  The Czechs has one win against Latvia and two losses.  Jaromir Jagr and Tomas Plekanec have been their top scoring forwards.  Marek Zidlicky has led the team offensively from defence.  Ondrej Pavelec has been their top goaltender after being a healthy scratch for game one.

4. Latvia.  Latvia lost all three games, but nevertheless managed five goals and were not horribly outplayed in any of their games so far.  Janis Sprukts and Lauris Darzins have been their top offensive players.  Krisjanis Redlihs has led their defence.  Edgars Masalskis has been their top goaltender.

The teams were now ranked from 1-12 based on their first round results with points used first and goal +/- to break ties.  The top four teams receive byes in the next round while the other eight teams play a single game playoff for the right to move on.  Sweden, USA, Canada and Finland have earned the top four seeds (and hence byes) from their first round success.  The remaining four teams play in the qualification playoff on Tuesday.  Russia will meet Norway, with the winner to meet Finland.  Switzerland will meet Latvia with the winner to meet Canada.  The Czech Republic meets Slovakia with the winner going on to meet USA.  Slovenia will meet Austria with the winner going on to meet Sweden.

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awould's avatar

Thanks for the succinct update. USA drew a good seed… should have no trouble making the semi-finals, against either Czech Rep. or Slovakia, where it seems they will likely need to beat Canada to advance to the Gold medal game. Is that correct? Do they re-seed if there are upsets?

Posted by awould on 02/16/14 at 06:15 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

They do not re-seed in event of upsets.  Thus Canada and US will play a semi-final should things go according to most predictions.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 02/16/14 at 07:23 PM ET

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