Three of the Philadelphia Flyers five Sochi participants played today in the final games of the preliminary round. Here is how they fared:
Michael Raffl – Austria – 3:00am
Team Austria took down Norway by a score of 3-1. Michael Raffl had a fantastic game. He skated for 20:58, scored a goal, and took three shots. The Austrians first goal was scored by Raffl’s linemate Michael Grabner. Although Raffl was not a direct part of the goal, his tremendous board work in his own end and a wonderful breakout pass set up the rush that led to Grabner’s goal. Raffl’s goal, which came only about two minutes later was a beautiful power play tally. Raffl walked in from behind the goal line and went untouched by the Norwegian defense to put the puck underneath the goaltender. Heading into the medal playoff round Austria is ranked 9th and will take on the 8th seeded Slovenians.
Andrej Meszaros – Slovakia – 7:30am
The Slovakians almost took down the highly favored Russians this morning. In the end, Russia came out ahead in a shootout. Andrej Meszaros had one minor penalty, and took two shots in 20:39 of ice time. His night was highlighted by a play that he made about one minute into overtime. Alex Ovechkin took a shot on goal and the rebound came right back out. The Slovakian goaltender was out of position and the best scorer in the world had an open net. However, Meszaros sprawled out like a goalie to prevent Ovechkin from scoring the game winning goal (picture below). Heading into the medal playoff round Slovakia is ranked 10th and will take on Jakub Voracek and the 7th seeded Czech Republic.
Kimmo Timonen – Finland – 12:00pm
Finland gave Canada quite the scare today as they took the highly favored Canadians to overtime. In the overtime period, Drew Doughty scored his second goal of the game to earn the win for the Canadians. Kimmo Timonen skated for 18:31 and registered one shot on goal. Timonen’s ice time was the third most on his team. Despite his lack of flashy offensive numbers during these Olympics, Timonen has earned quite a bit of ice time and is clearly trusted by his coach. Since Russia was taken to a shootout, Finland is ranked 4th and has earned a bye into the quarterfinals. Finland will take on the winner of Russia vs Norway.
Coming Tomorrow: A preview of the Medal Round with emphasis on the Philadelphia Flyers.