There are four very important hockey games today, especially for the countries participating. This is the quarterfinals, this is the round that one bad game costs you a chance at a medal. Alexander Steen and Patrik Berglund, both of whom are having solid Olympics so far, will be trying to end Slovenia's hockey dreams. Slovenia, whose sole NHL player is Anze Kopitar, is in the quarterfinals for the first time in Olympic history. This game's the early one today, starting at 2:00 Central.
Vladimir Tarasenko (who scored an assist yesterday) and the Russians are facing off against an extremely tough Finnish opponent who may be depleted of centers but who aren't depleted elsewhere. This won't be an easy matchup.
Canada is playing Latvia, whose 3-1 victory over Switzerland yesterday came as a massive surprise.
The United States are facing the Czech Republic, who defeated the Slovakian team 5-3 yesterday. The game wasn't even anywhere close until the third period, when Ondrej Pavelec turned on the Pavelectricity and allowed two goals within a minute and a half in the third period to let the Slovakians sneak back into it.
If you already didn't have high hopes, here:
Ondrej Pavelec's career NHL record in back-to-backs: 4-17-0, 4.22 GAA, .866 save % on 575 SA. Yikes.— ContrarianGoaltender (@tcghockey) February 18, 2014
Kessel, Parise, Pavelski and Oshie are averaging a point per game vs Pavelec this season. Kane has a goal and an assist in 3 games vs Pavs.— Andrew Hirsh (@andrewhirsh) February 18, 2014
He's their only NHL goaltender.
Run out for an early lunch if you can, because the USA game doesn't begin until 11:00 Central. A win and the US will face off against the winner of the Latvia/Canada game on Friday morning.