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OlympicIRL

Winter Olympic Games 2018 Official Countdown Thread

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hckosice    891

Ice Hockey Tournament at Lillehammer 1994

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Sweden, 1994 Olympic Champions

In the first ever finals shootout won its first ever Olympic gold

 

 

 

The Men´s Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 1994 took place from 12th to 27th February 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. The matches were held at Lillehammer´s Hakon Hall and at Fjelhallen in Gjovik.

 

12 Nations participated in this tournament. Sweden won its first ever Ice Hockey Olympic Gold medal, becoming the sixth nation to reach the Olympic Ice Hockey glory. Canada retained the silver medals from Albertville 1992 and Finland won the Bronze medals.

 

The top 11 nations from the 1993 IIHF world championships qualified directly to the tournament. To determine the last 12th spot there was a International Qualification tournament played in Sheffield, GBR. Originally there were 4 nations supposed to take part in this qualification, Poland, Latvia, Japan and the host Great Britain. But few weeks before the start the International Ice Hockey federation added to this tournament also Slovakia. Since 1st January 1993 Czechoslovakia was dismissed and 2 new countries gained their respective independences, The Czech Republic and Slovakia. This became also a great problem in the IIHF program, since Czech Republic got the honors to become the successors country of Czechoslovakia in Ice Hockey structures, they were immediately put in the world championships top divisions programs and so also directly qualified for the Olympic tournament, but Slovakia had less reasons to enjoy, The country was send only to the lowest Ice Hockey world Championship division and so they also lost any chances to fight for the Olympics. This absolute injustice raised an unprecedented lobbying and represives not only in the country and in the IIHF but also in the UN, were the Slovaks were also lobbyin with their delegation led by the President of the country and many worldwidely well known hockey players. One month before the qualification the pressure reached the result, IIHF and IOC agreed to allow Slovakia to start in the Olympic qualification tournament, but the placement in the lowest World Championships program unfortunately remained as it was. Meanwhile the country succeeded to qualify for the top division in the shortest possible time. but this is another topic...

 

However The invited team won this Qualification tournament, proving that they belonged there, and Slovakia triumphed in its very first ever international event.

 

The 12 nations were divided into 2 preliminary groups A and B, the top 4 from both pools advanced to the quarterfinals, played in a cross-over system. The remaining nations played the Consolation round to determine 9th-12th places.

 

Finland played in Lillehammer in a great form and the team that won next year the first ever world championship title, dominated the group in a great way, winning all 5 games and qualifying to the knockout round from 1st place with the max amount of 10 points. Germany, Czech Republic and Russia (Successor of the former USSR in Ice Hockey program) accompanied them all earned 6 points, a mini-table tie break formula from their respective matches had to decide the ranking. The surprising victory of Germany over Russia 4-2 was the main point that Germany qualified from second place.

 

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Finland experienced a great tournament, losing only 1 match in the semifinals, but managed to recover and grab the bronze beating Russia 4-0 in the 3rd place match

 

The Group B saw another incredible fairytale and the Slovak hockey uprising continued, the underestimated and undesired team shocked the whole hockey planet finishing unbeaten and winning the Group B. Especially the win 3-1 over Canada was considered as a huge achievement and the world finally started to take us seriously. Canada advanced from second place, Sweden from 3rd and the United States from 4th. Italy and France failed down to the consolation round.

 

In the Quarterfinals, Finland over USA and Sweden over Germany won easily, but the next two matches were real jewels of the Olympic history. Canada beat Czech Republic in a great match 3-2 and Russia ended the fairy tale of Slovakia in another epic match 4-3 after Over Time in the very last 10th minute of the added time by the unforgettable goal of Vinogradov.

 

Despite the huge disappointement in the team, Slovakia as a total newby left a great impression and became the favorit team of local fans, 3 of Slovakia players topped even the tournaments final scoring ranking. Žigmund Pálffy with 3+7 won the overal scoring table and Miroslav Šatan was the best goal scorer of the tourney, the young 19 year old prospect scored 9 goals, including two hattricks to Italy and France. The legendary Peter Šťastný who ended his career in tha national team of his native country, was the captain of the team (Flag bearer of Slovakia at the Opening Ceremony) and 3rd overall scorer of the tournament with a 5+4 record.

 

The still unbeaten Finland entered the semifinal against Canada as one of the real contenders for gold, their play and performances during the tournament were highly valuated, but even this was not enough for the Suomis to beat Canada, The Maple Leafs won 5-3 t reach again the Olympic final and secure second medal in a row. In the other semifinal Sweden defeated Russia 4-3 and qualified for the gold medal match.

 

Finland at least finished their fantastic tournament by the deserved medal, winning bronze after a clear 4-0 win over Russia.

 

2 Minutes before the end of the final, Canada was leading 2-1 and close to the so long time expected gold, but Sweden in the penultimate minute managed to tie the game and send the final to the over time. That finished scoreless. So for the first time in the Olympics, we needed the shootout lottery to determine the Olympic champions. and it was necessary to have 7 series to know the outcome, when Peter Forsberg beat Corey Hirsch by a memorable goal and than Paul Kariya seen his attempt stopped by Tommy Salo, Sweden became for the first time ever Olympic Ice Hockey champions.

 

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The Historic goal of Peter Forsberg in the 7th Shootout serie against Corey Hirsch that brought the Olympic triumph to the "Tre Kronor"

 

 

Slovakia enterd its first ever Olympic tournament with a team composed mainly of players from its own national championship, but what a players it was. Led by Peter Šťastný and Žigmund Pálffy, the team introduced to the world another future great stars like Šatan or Haščák, Petrovický, Švehla and others.

The historic day came the 13th February 1994 and the first ever match at the Olympics, and the debut was against nothing else then Sweden, the future champions, Slovakia managed to won its first ever point at world level, reaching a draw 4-4. Another tie came two days later a 3-3 with USA. The first win came against Italy, 10-4. And then came the big day and the perfect match against Canada, we won 3-1 and already reached the quarterfinals, in the last match the team defeated France 6-2 and even shockingly topped the group.

But in the quarterfinal came the disappointment. The loss with Russia in a epic game 3-4 in the Overtimes last minute.

In the next game the team defeated Germany 6-5 after OT in the 5-8th semifinals to reach the 5th place game which ended in the worst performance in the whole tournament and a high loss to the former federal partner from Czech Republic 1-7.

Anyway, the 6th final place was a incredible result and an absolutely superb debut for a country that had to play 1 month later the lowest World Championship division program...but once again that´s another topic.

 

 

106446-peter-stastny-zigmund-palffy-clan

The best surprise of the tournament were definitely the performances of Slovakia,

Peter Šťastný and Žigmund Pálffy in Lillehammer led a Team from World Championships "C" pool,

that started its hockey "uprising" against this injustice,

 

 

Final Ranking:

1. Sweden  :SWE

2. Canada  :CAN

3. Finland  :FIN

4. Russia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Czech Republic

6. Slovakia

7. Germany

8. United States

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Italy

10. France

11. Norway 

12. Austria

 

Final shootouts of the Final Sweden - Canada

Spoiler

 

 

Some highlights from Lillehammer tournament (Czech TV recap)

Spoiler

 

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hckosice    891

Ice Hockey Tournaments at Nagano 1998

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Czech Republic,

won the so-called "Tournament of Century" to became the

1998 Olympic Champions, winning its first ever Gold

 

 

From 7th to 22nd February 1998, Nagano in Japan hosted the Winter Olympic Games, and for the first time there were 2 sets of medals awarded, because altogether with the Men´s Ice Hockey tournament also the women´s ice hockey experienced its Olympic debut right during these games. The very first women´s Olympic champions became the United States, they finished undefeated throughout the whole tournament and defeated the tournament favorite Canada in the final match 3-1. The men´s title went for the first time to the Czech Republic, winning the so-called "tournament of Century" a name received because this tournament also entered to the history with the first ever participation of the NHL players.

 

All matches were played at the Big Hat and at the Aqua Wing Arena in Nagano, Japan.

 

Czech Republic won it´s first ever Gold medal, becomming the seventh country to win the Olympic Ice Hockey grail.

 

This tournament was also the first ever to be contested by NHL (National Hockey League) players. The NHL allowed their players to enter the Olympics, thanks a organized 17 days break in the most famous Ice Hockey league, but not all teams had the same privilege. In fact NHL allowed its players to play only from the second round, This totally unfair decision hardly hampered the campaigns of Germany and Slovakia, both of whom failed to qualify for the final group stage. Also the final group stage was criticized as being meaningless since all of the teams qualified for the quarter-finals. The format was eventually changed for the 2006 tournament in an effort to address these criticisms.

 

The format of the mens tournament was really strange. 14 teams entered the competition, but only the top 6 were directly seeded in the main tournament second phase, the remaining 8 teams had to play a sort of qualification first phase. These 8 countries not allowed to field NHLers were divided into 2 preliminary groups A and B and only the Group winners advanced to the main phase.

 

Kazakhstan and Belarus surprisingly topped the groups ahead of Slovakia and Germany in their respective pools and reached the main tournament.

 

In the second round the NHL players finally entered the Olympics to the enjoyment of all Ice Hockey fans. Russia topped the Group 1 ahead f the Czech Republic, Finland and the qualifier Kazakhstan who finished pointless with the overall score 6-25 from the three encounters against the "NHLers" 2-9 with Russia, and 2-8 with the Czechs and Finns. Russia beating the Czechs 2-1 in the last match for the groups 1st place. Russia was satisfied with its result meaning in the quarter final they had to play the easiest opponent from the other group - Belarus. 

The Belarussians as expected finished last in this group, but after the group phase the organizers found that the Swede Ulf Samuelsson who played all 3 matches was not eligible to play since he already got the American citizenship and the rules didn´t allowed him to play for his former country. Immediately all Sweden´s result were annuled meaning Sweden was send to the last 4th place. This ofc wasn´t appreciated by the Russians as they had to face Sweden in the play-offs despite winning their group, Russia made an appeal and their protest was approved, the Swedens results were returned only Samuelsson was sent home from the Olympics. Sweden was reinstated to the 2nd place behind Canada, group winner and in front of USA 3rd and pointless qualifier Belarus.

 

Both Canada and the United States were heavily favoured; they had previously faced off in the final of the prestigious 1996 World Cup of Hockey. but both quite surprisingly failed in the play-offs to the underestimated Czechs, USA lost in quarterfinal 1-4 and The Canadian team, despite a strong start in the round robin, lost in the semifinal match 1-2 after penalty shoot-outs, Russia after eliminating Belarus 4-1, won in the semifinal over Finland in another great match of Hockey 7-4 to reach the final against the Czechs. Disappointed Canadians with such super stars around Gretzky, Yzerman, Lindros or Shannahan eventually lost also the Bronze medal game to Finland 3-4.

 

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Canada was the absolute favorite for the gold in The first ever Olympic tournament with NHL players, but the team around the legendary Wayne Gretzky finished 4th

 

In the final match, the Czech Republic led by a fantastic goalie Dominik Hašek and legendary players like Jaromír Jágr shut-out Russia to win the first gold medal in its history.

 

Slovakia arrived to Nagano with different feelings, The NHL did not allowed them to play with their best NHL players in the first round, so the coach staff had a difficult times in selecting the final roster, with only local players entered the 1st round with the only goal qualify for the next phase, it started with a quite unexpected tie with Austria 2-2 in the opening game, but returned in the business by winning (even not as easily as it was expected) against Italy 4-3, the last match remaining against Kazakhstan no one have even expected any fail, peoples was already thinking which players will be replaced by the NHL players in the next round...but all these speculations were closed too early, Slovakia shockingly lost to Kazakhstan 3-4 and surprisingly failed to qualify to the main round, the poor NHL guys which travelled to Nagano could returned back to the airports and fly back to America, their Olympic campaign ended already before the start. Only Peter Bondra decided to stay and was allowed to play in the 9th place game against similarly disappointed Germany, we lost 2-4 and finished 10th.

 

1558875-img-hokej-nagano-cesko-kanada-v0

One of the best Goalie of the Ice Hockey history Dominik Hašek led the Czechs to the title marking a giant shutout in the final against Russia

 

 

Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. Czech Republic  :CZE

2. Russia  :RUS

3. Finland  :FIN

4. Canada

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Sweden  -  Main Tournament

6. United States -  Main Tournament

7. Belarus  -  Main Tournament

8. Kazakhstan -  Main Tournament

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Germany - First Phase

10. Slovakia - First Phase

11. France - First Phase

12. Italy - First Phase

13. Japan - First Phase

14. Austria - First Phase

 

 

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The undefeated United States

first ever Women´s Ice Hockey Olympic champions

surprised Canada in the final to win 3-1.

 

 

The 1998 Olympic women's ice hockey tournament was the first year that featured women in ice hockey competition. 

 

6 Nations attended the tournament, they played a simple Round-Robin, the top 2 teams advanced for the Gold Medal match and 3rd and 4th ranked teams played for Bronze.

 

It was greatly anticipated that the women's gold medal match would feature Canada versus the United States. Canada was favored to come out on top as they had won all the competitions in previous years in women's hockey, with the United States perpetually finishing second, while no other national teams could match their level of play. However, the United States beat Canada in the final and became the first country to win gold in women's ice hockey at the Olympics. Like among the men´s, Finland took the bronze in the womens tourney as well beating in the 3rd place match China 4-1.

 

There were no qualification tournaments, the host Japan played alongside the top five nations at the previous season's world championships.

 

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If the men´s Canadian team had Wayne Gretzky, also the women´s team had in this tournament a absolute legend of this sport, the young Hayley Wickenheiser started her great Olympic career

 

Final Ranking of the Women´s Tournament:

1. United States  :USA 

2. Canada  :CAN 

3. Finland  :FIN

4. China

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Sweden

6. Japan

 

 

The Czech road to gold

Spoiler

 

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hckosice    891

Ice Hockey Tournaments at Salt Lake 2002

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Canada,

2002 Olympic Champions,

after defeating the host USA 5-2 in the memorable Gold medal match ended the 50 years long wait for the Olympic gold

 

 

The Ice Hockey tournaments at the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games 2002, were held from 9th to 24th February 2002 and took place at the E-Center in West Valley City and at the Peaks Arena in Provo, Utah, United States. Both tournaments were won by Canada, and in both occasions after the Gold Medal match win over the host country, the United States, Women´s defeating the reigning Olympic champions 3-2, in a Canadian successful  revenge from Nagano 1998, Sweden took the Bronze. Canada won also the men´s gold beating USA 5-2 in an epic final and finally ending a long 50 years period of waiting for the Olympic gold for the Ice Hockey birth country, Russia took the bronze medals after beating the biggest surprise of the tournament team Belarus 7-2.

 

This was the second historic Olympic tournament including the NHL players. as the National Hockey League agreed to organize a 12 days break during the Olympics, but Once again, they controversially did not allowed their players to play in the preliminary round !!! So once again this extremely affected especially Slovakia, the team had to play the preliminary round with only 13 players !!! waiting for their 10 top NHL players for the main round, but unfortunately this tactic didn´t worked at all, Slovakia experienced a disastrous tournament finishing last in the preliminary round, so paradoxically the team was allowed to use their stars only in the match for 13th place, and the team with all its stars defeated France 7-1. Thankfully this idiotic and absolutely unfair system was later changed and in Torino 4 years later all teams were equal and all allowed to profit of their NHL players from the start. This was done especially because of Slovakia´s complaints,

The funny thing is that few months later, Slovakia became World Champion.

 

14 Teams entered the tournament with the same illogical format as 4 years ago in Nagano, the top 6 Ice Hockey powerhouses Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and USA were directly seeded in the main round, all other countries had to play a preliminary round. The 8 remaining teams were divided into 2 four teams preliminary groups, Germany and surprisingly Belarus won their respective groups and advanced to the main round.

 

In the main phase, Canada had a bad start in the group finishing only third, beating only the qualifier Germany  and losing to Sweden. The Swedes won the group unbeaten and suddenly became the biggest top favorites, Czech Republic the reigning champions finished second ahead of Canada and pointless Germany,

The Group B was surprisingly won by the home team, USA, which wasn´t really considered as a medal contender before the tourney. Finland finished second and Russia third, the biggest underdog Belarus finished as expected last losing all 3 games clearly.

 

So the quarterfinals were set. USA vs Germany, Finland vs Canada, Czech republic vs Russia and Sweden vs Belarus.

 

In a replay of the Nagano 1998 final, the Czechs again met the Russian, this time again the result was 1-0 but this time for the Russians, eliminating the reigning champions by a goal of Maxim Afinogenov. Canada vs Finland was another jewel of the Ice Hockey history, the Canadians managed to win this great battle thanks goals from Sakic and Yzermann 2-1. USA defeated Germany easily 5-0 to reach the semifinals and in the last match it was expected that Sweden will defeat Belarus easily too...but, in this game happened probably the biggest upset since the 1980 Miracle in Ice. Belarus shocked the world beating Sweden full of NHL top stars by a incredible goal 3 minutes to go by a certain Kopat scored from the Central zone against the great Salo.

 

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The biggest surprise of the tournament was without any doubts, Team Belarus, one of the most memorable moment of the whole Olympic history came in the 57th minute of the Quarterfinal against Sweden full of NHL top stars and the crazy goal from the central zone that brought to the scorer Vladimir Kopat the eternal glory

 

The Vladimir Kopat goal

Spoiler

 

It was also the end of this incredible fairy tale, Belarus in the semifinals logically had to submit to the Canadians 1-7. The second semifinal was another story a epic match between USA and Russia on American soil, exactly the same day after 22 years from the legendary Miracle on Ice. And this was a fantastic match, The host won 3-2 and did qualified for the final, proving they are just incredibly successful at home Olympics. 

 

For both nations, the gold-medal game came coincidentally on the anniversary of each nation's last gold medal in men's Olympic hockey. Canada last won 50 years previously at the Oslo 1952 WOG. The US won their last gold medal when they defeated Finland two days after "The Miracle on Ice" in 1980. Both games, coincidentally, were played on a Sunday.

 

The match was tied 2-2 after two periods, but in the last frame Canada scored 3 more goals by Joe Sakic and Jarome Iginla to beat the host 5-2 and won its 6th Olympic Gold, first after 50 years.

 

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Don Cherry jokes just prior to touching the 'Lucky Loonie' to wish good luck to the men's and women's Olympic hockey teams before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

The Lucky Loonie was buried surreptitiously by Canadian ice-maker Trent Evans at centre ice before the men's and women's 2002 Olympic Ice Hockey tournaments in Salt Lake City. After Team Canada's second hockey Gold Medal victory, the Lucky Loonie was dug up and presented to Team Canada General Manager Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky then donated the Lucky Loonie to the Hockey Hall of Fame

 

The Salt Lake Olympic tournament will remains in Slovak memory as one of the biggest waste and another disastrous experience our hockey had to pass. The rules were knon before the tournament we can use all our top NHL stars as Demitra, Marián Hossa, Šatan, Višňovský, Stumpel, Bartečko, Handzuš, Pálffy etc... officially only from the main round, but first we must qualify for this second round, the problem was we could enter only 25 players, so the team staff had to make a hard decision and select only 15 players for the preliminary round, some stars like Demitra succeeded with requests to their NHL club owners to play 1 or 2 matches if at this time their club did not played in NHL, this is the case of Demitra who travelled the night after his club played a NHL game to play against Latvia in the preliminary rounds second match but then had again to fly throughout the whole America to rejoin his club and play the last match before the NHL break. In this situation our team totally flopped. Finishing in embarasing and humiliating last place of the group after losing in the opening match to Germany 0-3 and in the last match to Austria with only 11 players in our bench 2-3. Our only point in the preliminary round came in the tire 6-6 against Latvia thanks to a fantastic Pavol Demitra.

The last place meant our team will play only 1 game the humiliating 13th place match. But our NHLers showed pride and honor and all decided to stay and play this match to show everyone what a injustice was done to us. The match was absolutely one sided, we won against France 7-1 and finished 13th.

 

After this tournament came 2 great news for our hockey, IOC, IIHF and NHL agreed that from 2006 all NHLers will be allowed to play for their teams since the start of the competition.

The second one..few months later in this 2002 year, this same Slovakia became World Champion.

 

 

Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN

2. United States  :USA

3. Russia  :RUS

4. Belarus

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Sweden  -  Main Tournament

6. Finland -  Main Tournament

7. Czech Republic  -  Main Tournament

8. Germany -  Main Tournament

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Latvia - First Phase

10. Ukraine - First Phase

11. Switzerland - First Phase

12. Austria - First Phase

13. Slovakia - First Phase

14. France - First Phase

 

 

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4 Years after losing to the USA in Nagano Olympic final,

Canada took its revenge winning the final 3-2 to become for the first time the Womens Olympic champion

 

 

 

The 2002 Olympic women's ice hockey tournament was played by 8 Nations, increasing the amount of participants by 2 teams.

 

The 8 Nations were divided into two preliminary groups, the top 2 from both groups advanced to the semifinals. All 4 favorites made the cut without any problem, Canada and Sweden from Group A and USA with Finland from Group B.

 

Canada and USA reached as expected the final winning easily also their semifinals against the Nordic duo. Sweden won then the derby against Finland 2-1 to grab the bronze medals. In the final Canada defeated USA 3-2 to win its first Olympic gold.

 

 

Final Ranking of the Women´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN  

2. United States  :USA  

3. Sweden  :SWE

4. Finland

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Russia

6. Germany

7. China

8. Kazakhstan

 

Highlights form the Men´s Final

Canada vs USA 5-2

Spoiler

 

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hckosice    891

Ice Hockey Tournaments at Torino 2006

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Sweden,

2006 Olympic Champions,

won their second Olympic title 12 years after the Lillehammer triumph

 

 

 

The Ice Hockey tournaments at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games took place from 11th to 26th February 2006 in Torino, Italy. The games were played at the Palasport Olympico and at the Torino Esposizioni.

 

Sweden won the men´s tournament, winning its second historic Olympic title after 12 years, Finland won silver and the Czech Republic took the Bronze medals. Canada retained its gold in the women´s tournament ahead of Sweden and the USA.

 

Before the men´s tournament, there were many changes that occured in the format and system of the tournament. The format was changed and returned back to the one used in 1992 and 1994, meaning only two phases contested, the preliminary Round and then the Knock-Out round. Also the number of participating teams was reduced from 14 to 12 to form the two preliminary 6 teams groups A and B, and only the top 4 from both pools advanced to the quarterfinals.

 

But the most important change was about the NHL policy, this was the 3rd consecutive tournament with the participation of NHL players, but the first ever in which they were allowed to play during the whole tournament, so all teams had finally the same equal opportunities and conditions, which helped especially Slovakia, who had at this time more than 30 players in the NHL but can unable to use them in 1998 and 2002.

 

In the preliminary round the 12 participating Nations were divided into 2 groups, after a round-robin games only 2 teams finished unbeaten and advanced to the KO phase with the full amount of 10 points from 5 wins in 5 matches, Finland in Group A and Slovakia in Group B.

The Fins won all their group matches to top the pool ahead of Switzerland (the biggest surprise of this group) that defeated Canada 2-0 and Czech Republic 4-2. Thanks a better head to head the Swiss finished second ahead of Canada, the fourth qualified team was the Czech Republic, not really impressive in the preliminary round, but later in tournament showing what they are capable to do, flying to the Bronze medals. Germany and the host Italy finished their campaign both with 2 points from two draws in the preliminary stage.

Slovakia surprisingly dominated in the group B, winning all 5 matches, but the last game against Sweden will be for eternity known thanks its controversy. Several Allegations have surfaced of Sweden throwing a game against Slovakia so the Swedes would face Switzerland instead of Canada or the Czech Republic. Even 5 years later Pater Forsberg  was interpreted to insinuate that Sweden lost this game on purpose, so as to draw Switzerland as their quarterfinal opponent, rather than Canada or the Czech Republic. However Sweden lost 0-3 to Slovakia and finished 3rd in the group to face the Swiss in the play-offs, and they succeeded starting a run that finished by winning the gold medals. Russia from 2nd place and the United States from the 4th rank completed the Slovaks and Swedes in the quarterfinals positions. Kazakhstan and Latvia  finished behind the qualifying places with 2 and 1 points respectively.

 

The quarterfinals pairings brought some exciting encounters as Finland vs USA, Switzerland vs Sweden and the most awaited Russia vs Canada and the derby Slovakia vs Czech Republic.

 

Sweden won over the Swiss easily 6-2 stopping the great Swiss fairy tale. All other matches were really tense and extremely entertaining, Russia defeated in the clash of titans Canada 2-0, Finland outskated the United States 4-3 and The Czech Republic ended the road for the Slovaks beating them as the history learn us once again at the Olympics, this time 3-1.

 

The dream of Russia to finally won gold was again closed just like in Lillehammer 1994 by Finland, The "Suomis" playing until then a perfect tournament won clearly 4-0 and awaited their final opponent, it will be their eternal rivals, Sweden. The "Tre Kronor" defeated in the second semifinal the Czechs 7-3.

 

Czech Republic then beat the frustrated Russians 3-0 to grab the Bronze medals. In the final match Sweden became the only team in the whole tournament to beat Finland, with a win 3-2 the Swedes coached by Bengt-Ake Gustafsson and lead by offensive stars like Forsberg, Daniel Andersson, Mats Sundin, Henrik Zetterberg or the Sedin brothers and absolute defencers super stars like Kronwall, Bäckman or Lidstrom won the second Gold medals in the history.

 

Sweden_celebrating.JPG

One of the strongest ever Swede team celebrating the Olympic title after the final win 3-2 against Finland

 

The expectations in Slovakia was huge prior the tournament, finally we was able to use a complete team composed of our big NHL stars, and with enormous motivation to show to the whole world what injustice were made to us in the previous years we entered the tournament like a hurricane.

And what a start it was. A epic and legendary performance from our guys in the first match against Russia, Slovakia won one of the best ever hockey games 5-3 thanks two fantastic late goals from Marián Gáborík.

This win brought a huge boost to the players and fans, we won the next match against latvia 6-4, relatively closing the game in the first period, when we was already leading 4-1.

Game 3 and win 3, this time 2-1 over the United States in another great game after another fabulous effort.

The team with Marián Hossa, Pavol Demitra, Marián Gáborík, Miroslav Šatan, Žigmund Pálffy and Peter Bondra showed its power also in the remaining group matches beating Kazakhstan 2-1 and Sweden in the last game 3-0. 12 years after Lillehammer 1994 Slovakia again won the preliminary round, this time without losing a single point !

The atmosphere in the team and in the country was just incredible, peoples started to think about medal, maybe even gold, but then came the fall.

The Quarterfinal against our former federation partners, the Czech Republic. The team that practically showed nothing in the preliminary roun, suddenly re-found its power and traditional shape, it was clearly another Czech team we faced that evening. They best match in the tournament resulted in their win 3-1 and the end of the dream for us.

Anyway the 5th place from Torino 2006 was at that time best result ever under the five ring...until 4 years ago came Vancouver, but thats another story to come ...

 

 

Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. Sweden  :SWE

2. Finland  :FIN

3. Czech Republic  :CZE

4. Russia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Slovakia

6. Switzerland

7. Canada

8. United States

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Kazakhstan

10. Germany

11. Italy

12. Latvia

 

 

 

normal.png?1376640678

Canada,

2006 Women´s Olympic champions, for the second consecutive time

 

 

 

 

The 2006 Women´s Olympic tournament was played with 8 teams, divided into two preliminary groups. The top 2 teams from both pools advanced to the semifinals, the remaining teams continued in the consolation round.

 

This tournament is for the history very known because of an incredible achievement reached by the Swedes. Sweden defeated USA in the semifinals.

 

This win was one of the most important events in the history of international women's ice hockey. It was the first time the US team had lost in an international competition to a team other than Canada. 

 

Canada and USA were the clear absolute favorites of the tournament and both dominated absolutely in their respective groups, the other two semifinalists were the Nordic countries Sweden and Finland. Canada even registered at that time the highest win in a womens Olympic tournament 16-0 over the host Italy, a result they eventually improved 4 years later at home soil.

 

In the semifinals Canada as expected won to reach the final beating Finland 6-0 but in the second semi came the shock. Already the fact that USA-Sweden had to be decided in overtime was a big surprise, but that Sweden will beat the Americans, this was something unthinkable at that time. Sweden won 3-2 in the penalty shootout session to reach the final.

 

USA recovered in the bronze medal match and after winning against Finland 4-0 took at least the Bronze medals. Canada in the Gold Medal match confirmed the role of the favorites and won 4-1.

 

sweden-goalie-kim-martin-right-and-defen

Sweden wrote history in Torino 2006, becoming the first country winning over a North American team in womens Ice Hockey, The goalie Kim Martin savor the huge upset win 3-2 over the US in the semifinals

 

 

 

Final Ranking of the Women´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN  

2. Sweden  :SWE   

3. United States  :USA 

4. Finland

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5. Germany

6. Russia

7. Switzerland

8. Italy

 

 

Sweden - Finland 3-2 Mens final Highlights

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Highlights from the decisive games of the Womens tournament

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Highlights from all Slovak matches in Torino 2006

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