In the first round of playoff games in the 2014 Sochi Olympics three of the five Philadelphia Flyers participants were eliminated. In the first game, at 3:00am, Michael Raffl’s Austrian squad was downed by the Slovenians by score of 4-0. Later in the day, Jakub Voracek’s Czech Republic team beat Andrej Meszaros’ Slovakian team, 5-3. As that game was going on, Mark Streit’s Swiss squad was being upset by the Latvians 3-1. Below are a few game recaps and a preview of tomorrow’s action.
Slovenia 4 – Austria 0
Slovenia has quickly become one of the feel good stories of these Olympic games. They are playing in their first Olympic men’s ice hockey competition ever and are headed to the quarterfinals. Anze Kopitar scored the first goal (and game winning goal) of the game only five and a half minutes into the game. The Slovenians controlled play for much of the game and deserved to move on. Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl had a solid game skating for 20:26 and taking three shots on goal. He was -2, but he was also one of the only Austrians creating scoring chances. Raffl will rejoin the Flyers later this week.
Russia 4 – Norway 0
Nobody expected this game to be all that close. However, it was tied after one period and Norway looked to be giving Russia all they could handle. Eventually Russia pulled away off of two goals by Alexander Radulov. Sergei Bobrovsky pitched the shutout for the Russians as they move on to play Finland in the quarterfinals. There were no Flyers participating in the game.
Czech Republic 5 – Slovakia 3
This game featured two Philadelphia Flyers, Jakub Voracek and Andrej Meszaros. Both players saw a fair amount of ice time (Voracek – 16:31, Meszaros – 20:40) and Voracek earned an assist on the first goal of the game. The Czech’s were on a power play and Voracek was in his usual umbrella/point position. A fight for a loose puck started around the net and Voracek moved up. The puck came out to Voracek who alertly found Ales Hemsky in the slot for a point blank chance that the Oiler forward put home. Voracek ended the night a -1 and with four shots on goal. Meszaros had three shots on goal and earned one penalty. The Czech Republic will take on the USA tomorrow at noon.
Latvia 3 – Switzerland 1
Mark Streit’s chances for Olympic glory were dashed today in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. The Latvian club that ranked 11th out of 12 going into this tournament knocked off a defensively stingy Swiss team. The Swiss only allowed two goals in this game (the third goal was an empty netter with a minute to go), but continued to struggle to score. Streit played for 24:56 and registered four shots on goal. Latvia will go on to face Canada tomorrow, while Streit returns to Philadelphia.
Sweden vs Slovenia – 3:00am
Finland (Timonen) vs Russia – 7:30am
United States vs Czech Republic (Voracek) – 12:00pm
Canada vs Finland – 12:00pm