Day 3 Olympic Hockey recap
The Men’s portion of the 2014 Olympic winter Ice Hockey games continued early Friday morning as the Czech Republic defeated Latvia 4-2.
Boston Bruins’ center David Krejci had the primary assist on his home country’s first goal scored by Martin Erat. It was Krejci’s first point of the Olympics in two games.
Tied at one-right before the first period ended, old friend Jaromir Jagr scored his second goal (PP) of the tournament giving the Czechs a 2-1 lead.
It was a slow start for the Czechs something they could ill afford to have already owning a 0-1 record.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half of the game against Sweden, but we played better in the second half of this game, so we have to wait for tomorrow (against Switzerland) to see what kind of team we really are,” Jagr said.
Jagr continued to impress at the age of 42 and Latvia’s coach Ted Nolan was still shocked at the skill Jagr possesses at an older age.
“He’s like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age,” Nolan said. “As I told someone before, he is almost like a ballerina on ice, he’s so smooth and slick. He’s a world-class player. Today, he proved how good he is again.”
The Czechs also received a goal from Jakub Voracek which turned out to be the game-winning goal, as well as Marek Zidlicky.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 18 of 20 shots to record his first win of the tournament.
Loui Eriksson’s Sweden team slipped past Switzerland by a score of 1-0 improving to 2-0 in Group C.
Henrik Lundqvist turned away all 26 shots earning his second victory of the tournament while Daniel Alfredsson scored with 7:21 remaining in the third period providing all Sweden needed.
In other big news for the Swedes, Captain Henrik Zetterberg will not play for the rest of the Olympics because of a herniated disk in his back.
It was almost as if Team Canada had a point to prove even though they beat Norway 3-1 in their first game of the tournament. Well, the rest of the world got their message. A 6-0 win over Austria will do that.
Jeff Carter led the way with a hat-trick after being removed from Sidney Crosby’s line. Canada jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Drew Doughty and Shea Weber and never looked back.
Carter scored all three of his goals in the second frame while Ryan Getzlaf added the final goal. Carey Price got the night off as Roberto Luongo started between the pipes stopping all 23 shots he faced.
Patrice Bergeron again showed why he is one of the best two way players in the world. His vision on the ice has been superb through the first two games. In the win over Austria, Bergeron also won five of seven faceoffs, added two shots and totaled 13:14 of ice time.
“Each guy played their own game tonight and I think confidence is going to come as we go along here,” Jonathan Toews said in an interview with NBCSN’s Pierre McGuire after the game. “Carter (Jeff) was just finding the right spots and we were just feeding off each other. It was nice to see a few go in as a line.”
Tuukka Rask got the night off as his Team Finland improved to 2-0 with a 6-1 win over Norway. Finland will try to handle Canada Sunday night to try and clinch first place in Group B.
Lauri Korpikoski and Olli Maatta led the way for the Fins. Maatta had a goal and two assists while Korpikoski scored two goals.
Kari Lehtonen, who started over Rask stopped 20 shots on route to his first victory of the tournament.
Another important note was Teemu Selanne, who scored his 21st career Olympic goal which was his first Olympic goal since 2006. It was Selanne’s sixth Olympics.
It was a 3-0 first period lead for the Fins and they never looked back setting up a showdown Sunday night with Team Canada.
We will see the United States take on host Russia tomorrow morning while Canada and Finland will battle out for Group supremacy. Olympic hockey at its finest.