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HOCKEY SPECIAL RECAP #5 (2006-2014)

 

Ice Hockey Tournaments at Torino 2006

 

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Sweden,

2006 Olympic Champions,

Second Olympic title, 12 years after the Lillehammer triumph

 

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Canada,

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

 

 

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Spoiler

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 Finns 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.

 

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

 

Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. Sweden  :SWE

2. Finland  :FIN

3. Czech Republic  :CZE

4. Russia

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5. Slovakia

6. Switzerland

7. Canada

8. United States

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9. Kazakhstan

10. Germany

11. Italy

12. Latvia

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 

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Ice Hockey Tournaments at Vancouver 2010

 

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Canada

2010 Olympic Champions,

8th Olympic title, Canada became again historically the most successful country in men´s Ice Hockey at the Olympics

 

 

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Canada,

2010 Womens Olympic Champions,

3rd consecutieve gold

 

 

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Spoiler

The Ice Hockey tournaments at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games took place from 16th to 28th February 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. It was the first ever Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament played in a NHL sized rinks and first ever Olympic Tournament using the 4 referees system. It was the 4th Olympic tournament with participation of NHL players. The matches were contested at the Canada Hockey Place (NHL team Vancouver Canucks home venue the General Motors Place) and at the Thunderbird Arena.

 

12 Teams entered the Men´s Tournament, For this games the format was totally changed and renewed, the 12 countries according their seeding were divided into 3 four teams preliminary Groups. After classical round robins in the different pools the winners of the 3 groups + the best second ranked team received a automatical bye for the next round and has qualified directly for the Quarterfinals, remaining 8 teams had to play a Play-Off Round of 16 game.

 

Canada won the so desired home gold in a total domination´s mode. Supported throughout the entire tournament by fantastic home crowd finished the tourney with a deserved gold, the 8th in history making of Canada the most successful country of all times again, overpassing USSR. USA took silver after a painful Gold Medal Game lose to their northern neighbors 2-3 in Overtime. Finland won the bronze medal match beating the biggest surprise of the tournament, Team Slovakia 5-3, thanks 4 goals in a heartbreaking third period for the Slovaks.

 

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The Olympic tournament was played in a fantastic atmosphere

 

For the first time each match had to have a winner and thus was used the new point system in the preliminary round.

 

The United States dominated the Group A topping the pool undefeated, even ahead of Canada which lost 4 points in the group after a win 3-2 only after Penalty Shootouts over the dangerous Swiss, and a lose in a prestigious USA-Canada match 5-3. The Canadians had to play the Round of 16 like 3rd Switzerland with 3 points and 4th Norway with 1 single point thanks a 4-5 Overtime lose to Switzerland as well.

 

The Group B introduced some highly memorable games and a very strong and close group. Russia despite shocking lose to the Slovaks 1-2 in Penalty Shootouts decided by one of the most memorable and epic shootout goal scored by the local Vancouver Canucks star Pavol Demitra, topped the group winning both remaining matches with 7 points ahead of the Czech Republic with 6 points, Slovakia was third just behind with 5 points, Latvia unlucky to be put in this group finished 4th pointless.

 

It was the Group C that included the two direct quarterfinalists, it was just as expected the two Nordic powerhouses. Sweden the reigning champion showed their power and ambitions winning the group without losing a single point, Finland with 6 points and better overall Goal average than the Czechs advanced to the QF, 3rd Belarus with 3 points and 4th Germany 0 points moved to the Round of 16.

 

In this KO format, the all favorised countries won their games, but three of them had to work a bit harder to make the quarterfinals though, just like Slovakia had a lot of troubles to beat the brave and valiant Norwegians 4-3, Also the Czechs fought hard to eliminate Latvia 3-2 after Overtime and Switzerland 4-3 after the Penalty Shootouts session the Belarussians, only the host Canada outclassed their opponent easily 8-2 over Germany.

 

In the Quarterfinals, there were 2 big shocks that happened:

The reigning champions surprisingly finished their tournament, in a great match of such historic value for Slovakia and Slovak sport the central europeans shockingly send out the Swedes 4-3, the other big highlight of the QF stage was definitely the Russia vs Canada clash, everyone who expected a huge hockey thriller couldn´t believed what happened in that game, Canada eliminated the team around Alexander Ovechkin 7-3 !!! The other two semifinalists became Finland defeating Czech Republic 2-0 and the still unbeaten United States beating Switzerland by the same result.

 

USA started the semifinals in a incredible way outclassing Finland 6-1 including the worst historic Finlands first period finished by a 6-0 for the U.S.

In the second semifinal, it was expected that Canada will have no big troubles to bomb out Slovakia. Canada was even leading 3-0 some 5 minutes to go, but then started a unprecedented offensive show of the Slovaks closing the home team in their defensive zone, Pavol Demitra was close few seconds before the end to tie the score, but sadly for Slovakia denying by a memorable save from another local star Roberto Luongo.

 

Slovakia thanks their performances and very attractive style of play won the hearts of the Canadian fans, All cheered to the guys from under the Tatras to win this unbelievable bronze in the 3rd place match with Finland, Pavol Demitra, Marián Hossa and Marián Gáborík put a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes, Slovakia was 15 minutes of the enormous upset, but failed, Finland showing their best period of the tournament scored 4 pucks in the net of Jaroslav Halák to overturn the result 5-3 and win the bronze for the "Suomis" led by legendary Teemu Selanne (who became the all-time scorer leader with 37 points from all his 5 Olympics), Jere Lehtinen and Saku Koivu.

Slovakia finished 4th, the best ever result at the Olympics for the country, but the pain was huge after that missing chance. Pavol Demitra a Slovak Hockey legend who perrished next year in the KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air crash tragedy became the only non CAN or USA player to be rewarded i the All Stars team of the tournament, he was also the best scorer of the tournament a statistic who won by scoring 10 points in the tourney just ahead of another Slovak player, Marián Hossa with 9 points (3+6)

 

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One of the biggest surprises and fairy tales of the tournament sadly did not have

a happy-end,

Slovakia,

missed a huge medal chance losing the Bronze Medal Game to Finland 3-5, after the team was leading 3-1 at the start of the third period

 

The Gold Medal match was once again at the North American soil a North American derby, Host Canada faced unbeaten and in big shape playing team USA, and it was a fantastic final, 60 minutes was not enough to determine the winner. Canada was 2-0 leading after goals of Correy Perry and Jonathan Toews, but the USA tied the score thanks Ryan Kessler and 30 seconds before the final buzz Zach Parise.

In time 67:30 Came the moment of glory, for many, the best ice hockey player of our ages, Sidney Crosby showed his geniality and extreme skills scoring the winning golden goal.

 

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Sidney Crosby just scored the Overtime Gold winning goal

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Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN

2. United States  :USA

3. Finland  :FIN

4. Slovakia

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5. Sweden

6. Russia

7. Czech Republic

8. Switzerland

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9. Belarus

10. Norway

11. Germany

12. Latvia

 

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The 2010 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.

 

Canada won 3rd consecutive gold, USA took silver and Finland grab their first ever womens Olympic ice hockey bronze, The reigning silver medalists, Sweden finished this time outside of the medals in 4th place.  2 Goals of Marie-Philipe Poulin in the final match brought the gold for the host country.

 

Slovakia qualified to this Olympic tournament for the first time ever. Undefeated during the whole qualification (Including the World Record win 82-0 against Bulgaria) surprisingly managed to earn the Olympic quota.

 

But in the Olympic tournament it was as expected a absolutely different story, the differences in the womens world hockey were too important, it was evident already in the opening match and another historic highest result in the womens Olympic tournament this time against us, we lost to Canada 0-18.

After the reigning champions we had to face another finalist of the last tournament in the next match, and this time it was much better, losing to Sweden after a good game 2-6. After the lose 2-5 to Switzerland in the last groups match we finished as expected last and pointless.

In the consolation round came another two loses, first in the 5-8th places semifinals to Russia 2-4 and in our best match of the tournament in the 7th place game to China 1-3.

 

 

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Slovakia qualified for the first and only time to the womens Ice Hockey Olympic tournament,

despite finishing last 8th without single win and with a negative record of highest lose in the history of the womens Olympic tournaments 0-18 to Canada,

it was a enormous experience for the girls

 

 

 

Final Ranking of the Women´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN  

2. United States  :USA    

3. Finland  :FIN  

4. Sweden

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5. Switzerland

6. Russia

7. China

8. Slovakia

 

 

 

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Ice Hockey Tournaments at Sochi 2014

 

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Canada went undefeated throughout the whole tournament to become

2014 Olympic Champions,

winning 9th Olympic title, and retaining the title from the Vancouver games 4 years ago

 

 

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4th Consecutive Gold for Canadian womens team,

came after a huge hockey thriller in a First ever womens hockey final decided in a Overtime

 

More on the Stories

Spoiler

The Ice Hockey tournaments at the 2014 took place in Sochi, Russia, from 8th to 23rd February 2014. The matches were played at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and at the Shaiba Arena, both located in Sochi.

 

The format of the mens tournament was exactly the same as in Vancouver 4 years ago. 12 participating countries were divided into 3 four teams groups, after a classical single round-robins the group winners and the best 2nd ranked team received a automatic bye to the quarterfinals, all remaining teams were forced to play a play-off direct qualification match to qualify for the final 8.

 

In women´s tournament the 8 participating countries were according their world ranking positions directly seeded in the two preliminary groups, the best 4 nations in group A and remaining teams in the group B. The first two teams from group A received the direct bye for the semifinals, while the other two teams from this group and best 2 teams from group B played a play-off quarterfinal match.

 

Canada went undefeated throughout the whole mens and womens tournaments to win both golds and retain their Olympic titles.

 

The mens tournament was the 5th consecutive tourney played also with NHL players, as the North American prestigious league scheduled a break during the games, allowing their players to play once again under the 5 rings.

 

Canada became Olympic champion for the 9th time, and became the first nation since the former USSR to retain a Olympic title, they became also the first team to win all their matches since the Sarajevo 1984 triumph of the ex-USSR. Sweden won silver and Finland retained their bronze medals from Vancouver, this time beating the United States in the Bronze medal bout.

 

The 4 directly qualified teams for the quarterfinals were USA, Canada, Sweden and best 2nd team Finland from Group B.

 

The United States won the group A with 8 points ahead of the strongly motivated host team trying to finally win the first ever Russian´s Federation Olympic Ice Hockey gold. their respective match was one of the highlights of the games that finished after 8 shootouts penalty series, the man of the game was definitely TJ Oshie who scored 4 goals during this shootout session. The Russians with 6 points finished second and had to play the round of 16 just like 3rd Slovenia, The debuting country experienced a fantastic tournament that ended in a surprising quarterfinal appearance. Slovenia earned it´s first historic win at the Olympic games in the group against Slovakia, which in opposite, experienced a strongly disappointing and catastrophic tournament.

 

Canada dominated the Group B with 8 points losing only 1 single point after a Overtime win against Finland, this result in final helped also the Suomis to qualify directly for the quarterfinals as the best second ranked team. Austria with 3 points and Norway pointless went to the round of 16.

 

In the group C it was a Swedes ride, The Tre Kronor won all 3 matches to earn the first place of the group with 9 points ahead of Switzerland 6 points, Czech Republic 3 points and Latvia without any single point from this group.

Interesting was the final goal average of the Swiss after all their matches in the group : 2-1. In fact all their matches ended 1-0. Also the only goal of their opening match against Latvia 1-0 was scored at time 59:52 !!!

 

In the round of 16, Slovenia continued its heroic and historic achievement defeating their neighbors from Austria clearly 4-0. The host Russia won by the same score over Norway and the biggest surprise happened in the replay of the game Switzerland - Latvia, Latvia also reached their historic result at the Olympics beating Switzerland 3-1 to advance for the top 8. In the last match Czech Republic played the traditional derby against the Slovaks. and as every olympic confrontation between the two nations before ended by the win of the Czechs, this time 5-3.

 

Canada experienced some hard times in the quarterfinal against Latvia, a fantastic 55 saves of Gudlevskis in Latvian net started to really frustrate the Canadian super stars, but the top favorite finally found the way to score and won 2-1. their semifinals opponent became the United States after their win 5-2 over the Czechs. the second semifinal pair was Sweden vs Finland. the Swedes ended the beautiful and highly valuable fairy tale of the Slovenians 5-0 and Finland eliminated Russia 3-1. The Russians NHL top stars failed for the second consecutive time in the Quarterfinals.

 

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Cursed ?

Russia with a squad fulled by NHL mega stars was aspiring to finally win this dreamed first gold since the collapse of the USSR, and when is the best occasion to do that than at home ice,

but once again they failed in the quarterfinals, this time to Finland

 

Canada - USA and Sweden - Finland. two great semifinals were expected and they delivered. it was one great night of hockey. The Swedes and the Canadians were finally the luckiest after beating their opponents 2-1 and 1-0 respectively.

 

Finland retained the bronze, this time easily beating a demotivated team USA 5-0. In this match Teemu Selänne continued to write his name to the eternal history of this sport. at his 6th Olympics at age 43 years and 234 days, became the oldest ice hockey player to win an Olympic medal, by being part of Team Finland's bronze. He also holds the Olympic record for total ice hockey points, upping it to 43 !!!

 

The Gold medal match was a battle between the reigning 2010 champions Canada and the 2006 champions Sweden. Canada confirmed its supremacy in this tournament winning 3-0 after goals of Toews, Crosby and Kunitz. Canada conceded in this tournament all in all only 3 goals ! but scored only 17 which is the smallest amount among all Olympic champions in history. Carey Price finished the tournament with 2 shutouts in the semifinal and finals.

 

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Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 in the Gold Medal match,

confirming its supremacy in the tournament allowing all opponents to score only 3 goals,

both semifinals and finals ended with a shutout wins 1-0 and 3-0

 

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The biggest surprise of the tournament was definitely Slovenia,

the underestimated debuting country managed to reach the Quarterfinals to finish in a fantastic 7th place,

their first hiśtoric win came in the preliminary round after a upset over Slovakia,

which in opposite experienced a disastrous tournament full of real hockey nightmares

 

 

 

Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN

2. Sweden  :SWE

3. Finland  :FIN

4. United States

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5. Russia

6. Czech Republic

7. Slovenia

8. Latvia

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9. Switzerland

10. Austria

11. Slovakia

12. Norway

 

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Canada dominated also the women´s tournament. Winning all 5 matches. to grab the 4th consecutive Olympic gold, repeating the achievement of their males colleagues 1920-1932 and the Soviet Unions streak 1964-1976.

 

Hayley Wickenheiser led again the team to win her 5th Olympic medal and 4th gold, for the first time a Olympic final had to be decided by Overtime. Canada won 3-2 and scored the Gold medal goal at 68:10 by Marie Philipe Poulin, who also tied the score in the Regulation time 58 seconds to go to 2-2. USA once again had to submit and took the silver medals.

 

Switzerland produced a improbable upset to won the Bronze medal match, beating Sweden 4-3 and scoring all 4 goals in the last period. This was the first ever Swiss womens Ice Hockey medal and first country´s Olympic Ice Hockey medal after 66 years.

 

The host team finished the tournament outside of medals at 6th place, but later was completely disqualified.

 

 

Final Ranking of the Women´s Tournament:

1. Canada  :CAN  

2. United States  :USA    

3. Switzerland  :SUI   

4. Sweden

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5. Finland

6. Germany

7. Japan

Russia - Disqualified

 

 

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5 Days To Go

HOCKEY SPECIAL RECAP #6 (2018)

 

Ice Hockey Tournaments at PyeongChang 2018

 

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Russian Ice Hockey Team playing under the name of Olympic Athlete from Russia,

finally ended the Olympic curse and won its first ever Olympic title after the 1992 triumph of the Unified Team

 

 

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USA women´s Ice Hockey Team ended the four Olympic golden streak of their Candians rivals to earn their second women ice hockey title

 

More on the Stories

Spoiler

The ice hockey Tournaments of the 2018 Winter Olympics were played for the first time in South Korea and third time in Asia.

 

The matches were played in two venues within the Gangneung Coastal Cluster. The Gangneung Hockey Centre, which seats 10,000, and the Kwandong Hockey Centre, with a capacity of 6,000 spectators.

 

Twelve teams competed in the men's tournament, which was held from 14 to 25 February, while eight teams competed in the women's tournament, from 10 to 22 February. The women's tournament featured apart 7 qualified countries also a special combined Korean team formed of players from the both Koreas.

 

After 5 Consecutive Olympic Tournaments with NHLers, this was the first tournament to be played without the biggest world Hockey stars from the North American Top league in 20 years.

 

The Men´s Tournament ended one incredible curse, In 1992 when the Albertville Tournament was won by a so-called "Unified Team" representing players from the former USSR, The Russian national team finally won that so awaited and dreamed Olypic Gold...however due enormous state sponsored doping scandal during the Sochi Olympics the Russian players had to play under an Olympic flag and under the official name of the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). They won the gold medal, defeating the biggest surprise of the tournament, the German national team with a score of 4–3 in overtime in the final.

 

Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, United States, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Slovakia qualified as the top eight teams in the IIHF World Ranking in 2015.

South Korea qualified directly as well as the host team. To field a competitive team, the South Korean government agreed to grant one American and six Canadian hockey players that were playing in Korean leagues dual citizenship to make them eligible for the national team. The remaining three teams Slovenia, Germany and Norway qualified from qualification tournaments.

 

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Germany, the biggest surprise of the Tournament ended its fairy-tale with an unprecedented and completely unexpected Silver

 

The format of the Tournament was similar to the one used since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The 12 teams were divided into 3 Preliminary Groups, the top ranked nation and the best of the 2nd ranked nations advanced directly to the Quarterfinals, while all other teams had to play a Play-Off game.

 

In Group A the Czech Republic topped the table winning all matches including the 3-2 Shoot-Out triumph over Canada. The Maple Leafs finished 2nd with 7 points and thanks to that extra point from the PSO defeat with the Czechs advanced at the end as the best 2nd team directly to the Quarterfinals. Switzerland with 3 points and host South Korea pointless finished in 3rd and 4th Places.

 

The Group B which was coincidentally the same as the one from Sochi started by huge surprises, Slovakia shocked in the opening game of the tournament the OAR team 3-2 and Slovenia surprised the USA with a 3-2 Overtime win. At the end the enorous skills and strength of the OAR team prevailed and the biggest tournament favorite won the group with 6 points, The interesting things happened in the other ranks, All 3 remaining countries ended by the same amount of points 4. So a mini-Table was necessary to rank them, Slovenia was the luckiest and finished 2nd, while USA 3rd and Slovakia 4th had even to play against themselves again in the Play-Offs.

 

The favorites of the Group C were clear, and both Nordic powerhouses handled it perfectly, Sweden beat in he last match Finland 3-1 to top the group and receive a bye for the Quarterfinals, Finland with 6 points had relatively the easiest way in the Play-Off, Germany with 2 points and Norway with 1 headed already for the Play-Off round.

 

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World Hockey paradoxes:

OAR dominated the tournament, losing only one match, the opener surprisingly to Slovakia, for whom this was the only win in the Tournament

 

In the Play-Offs USA ended the very disappointing tournaments of the Slovaks 5-1 (Slovakia happened to be the only team to beat OAR in PyeongChang but still could not end better than 11th like in Russia 4 years ago), An unbelievable tournament this was mainly for teams from Group C, Norway beat in a very close game Slovenia 2-1 after Overtime and Germany shocked Switzerland by the exact same result, The last quarterfinalist was as expected Finland who closed the road of the hosts in this tourney 5-2.

 

If German win over Switzerland in the Play-Offs was a surprise, the win over Sweden 4-3 After Overtime was a complete shock. Czechia eliminated in another superb match USA 3-2 after PSO, Canada defeated Finland in anoher super close atch by a football score of 1-0, OAR on the other side quite impressively earned their semifinals ticket by beating Norway 6-1.

 

The German fairy-tale continued in the Korean soil also in the semifinal, Another shock, another huge surprise this time against Canada 4-3 qualified Germany to its first ever Final in Ice Hockey ever. In the other semi OAR blanked the Czechs in a comprehensive win 3-0.

 

In an defensive free day Canada earned the Bronze medal beating Czechia 6-4, the last period was another epic moment of international ice hockey with 6 goals scored, 3 on each side. OAR Won the Title beating Germany in the Final match 4-3 after Overtime, with the winning goal scored by Kirill Kaprizov at the 9th minute of the "sudden-death" overtime.

 

Final Ranking of the Men´s Tournament:

1. OAR  :WHT

2. Germany  :GER

3. Canada  :CAN

4. Czech Republic

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5. Sweden

6. Finland

7. United States

8. Norway

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9. Slovenia

10. Switzerland

11. Slovakia

12. South Korea

 

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A fraction of seconds after Kaprizov overtime winner, the "Russian-curse" was definitely over

 

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The format of the Women´s Tournament was the same as 2014. The top 4 seeded teams played in group A and the next four in group B. The top two seeds from group A received a bye from the quarterfinal round. The bottom two group A teams played the top two group B teams in the quarterfinal round. The winner of these two games played the top two group A teams in the semifinal round. The winners of the semifinal round played for the gold medal and the losers played for the bronze. 

 

five countries Canada, United States, Finland, Sweden and Russia (Competing under Olympic flag and name Olympic Athletes from Russi) qualified automatically by virtue of their ranking by the International Ice Hockey Federation, one, South Korea, automatically qualified as hosts, while the two others Switzerland and Japan took part in a qualification tournament. Under a special agreement with the IOC and the IIHF, twelve North Korean players joined the host team to form a united team "Corea". They were allowed to have an expanded roster of 35 where 22 players dress for each game. Three North Korean players were selected for each game by coach Sarah Murray.

 

Canada topped the Group A ahead of the USA, in their first of the two expected clashes Canada won 2-1, both teams qualified directly to the semifinals. Finland with 3 and OAR with 0 points advanced to the quarterfinals.

 

Switzerland and Sweden joined them from the Group B. Sweden for the first time ever lost to Switzerland in this stage, Japan despite clear improvement ended short in the group by a very small margin and eventually finished on 6th place even ahead of Sweden, shockingly losing to Japan in the 5th-8th Semifinals, making another huge historic step in this sport.

 

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Olympic spirit - Team of Unified Korea,

lost all games (twice 0-8), scored only 2 goals

but the essence of this all went far beyond just Hockey

 

In the Quarterfinals OAR and Finland advanced to the semifinals quite easily 6-2 against Switzerland and 7-2 against Sweden.

 

USA and Canada as expected made it to the final, both won their semifinals by the same score of 5-0, Finland earned the bronze after a dramatic 3-2 win against OAR.

 

The United States winning the gold medal game against Canada (3:2 afer Penalty Shoot-Outs) marks the first time in 20 years that the United States took home a gold medal in women's hockey. Their only previous win was in 1998 in Nagano, the first appearance of womens Ice Hockey at the WOG, which was also against Canada. Canada´s loss ended their winning streak of four consecutive winter games, having won since 2002.

 

Final Ranking of the Women´s Tournament:

1. United States  :USA  

2. Canada  :CAN    

3. Finland  :FIN  

4. OAR

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

5. Switzerland

6. Japan

7. Sweden

8. Unified Korea

 

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USA win shoot-out to claim their second Olympic title

 

 

 

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  • The title was changed to Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022 Countdown Thread

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