Winter Olympics Hockey Qualification Round GDT: Knockout!

Bruce Bennett

Today starts the real tournament - it's going to be one and done for four teams, while the other four advance to duke it out for a medal.

Two Blues are in action today, as the rest of the team are on the top three seeds: Sweden, the USA, and Canada. Those three countries, along with Finland, got automatic byes into the semi-finals.

Vladimir Tarasenko hasn't had the most notable of Olympics, doing very nearly literally nothing. Today's a perfect chance for him to shine. If Russia loses their game today against Norway (spoiler: they won't), they go home and have to face the probable embarrassed wrath of Vladimir Putin, who I like to imagine enjoys having political rivals killed in the jungles of Mexico via an axe to the noggin.

I could just be making stuff up though.

Slovakia is playing their rival, the Czech Republic. One of these two teams has had a smidge of success so far, and it's not the team that Jaroslav Halak is on. After giving up eight goals in two games, Halak was replaced by Ian Laco who allowed just one goal out of 37 shots on Sunday to the Russians. I would be surprised if we saw Jaro today.

Here's the schedule and the broadcast channels for each game - the earliest is the potential classic of Austria v. Slovenia at 2:00. One of those two teams will be going to the quarterfinals for the first time ever.

2-4:30 a.m. ET -- Austria vs. Slovenia, NBCSN, NBC LiveExtra Online

6:30-9 a.m. ET -- Norway vs. Russia, NBCSN, NBC LiveExtra Online

11-1:30 pm ET -- Latvia vs. Switzerland, MSNBC, NBC LiveExtra Online

11-1:30 pm ET -- Slovakia vs. Czech Republic, NBCSN, NBC LiveExtra Online


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