Blackhawks’ Olympic Effort: Day 3

The first day of day 3 of the Sochi Olympics men’s hockey tournament saw Czech Republic face off against Latvia and earning themselves a win. Michal Roszival, of the Blackhawks, skated on a line with Tomas Kaberle, and was on the ice for each of the Czechs goals.

 

Czech Republic opened fire, with a goal by Martin Erat 10 minutes into the first frame. Latvia retaliated 3 minutes later with a power play goal by Janis Sprukts. It only took 6 minutes for Jaromir Jagr to give Czech Republic the edge again, scoring just before the end of the period on the power play.

 

Latvia got themselves even again 2 minutes into the second period, thanks to a goal from Herberts Vasiljevs. It would be their last goal of the game, and they couldn’t catch up Czech Republic when Jakub Voracek scored 5 minutes later for Czech Republic, followed by another goal, 10 minutes later, by Marek Zidlcky.

 

The third frame went on without any goals, Czech Republic protecting their lead and never letting it get away from them.

 

The second game of the day saw Sweden face-off against Switzerland. Three Blackhawks players were called up to join team Sweden, and one of them, Markus Kruger, could see more minutes with Detroit Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg out for the rest of the tournament with an herniated disk. However, it was not the case for this game in particular.

 

In the end, this would be a one goal game - both teams battled hard, lots of skills and speed, a tight checking affair. Both goaltenders - NHLers Henrik Lundqvist and Reto Berra - were stellar. Ultimately, it was Sweden that came out on top, with a goal in the third period. Daniel Alfredsson of the Detroit Red Wings managed to push a rebounding puck behind Berra, a dirty, grinding goal that illustrated the overall game well.

 

Despite a strong push to get themselves on the scoreboard, Switzerland was unable to capitalise, and the game finished with a 1-0 score for Sweden, who has now won both their qualifiers.

 

Last games of the day were Canada/Austria and Finland/Norway. lackhawks forward Patrick Sharp was a healthy scratch.

 

Canada were hungrier and more aggressive than yesterday, and it only took them 5 minutes into the first frame to get on the scoreboard, a goal by LA Kings D-man Drew Doughty, assisted by Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. And 5 minutes later, they added another one, from D-man and assistant captain Shea Weber. Austria had a few good chances during the period but couldn’t capitalise.

 

The second period saw the number of goals scored by Canada increase dramatically, with the help of a hat trick by LA Kings sniper Jeff Carter 2, 4, and 14 minutes into the period. But Canada didn’t stop their offense there, with Ryan Getzlaf scoring after a beautiful toe-drag that confused Austria’s goaltender, Bernhard Starkbaum. It was a shorthanded goal that came during a double minor penalty taken by Jamie Benn for a high-stick.

 

Through the period, Canada dominated the play entirely, and Austria struggled to gain any momentum apart from after Benn’s penalty. The second frame ended at 6-0 for team Canada, and so did the game, as the third period was goalless. It brings Canada’s goal differential to +9.

 

At the same time, Finland got the upper hand on Norway with a 6-1 win, who saw NHLer Teemu Selanne, Olli Jokinen and Lauri Korpikoski score.

 

Tomorrow’s match-ups:

Slovakia/Slovenia

USA/Russia

Sweden/Latvia

Switzerland/Czech Republic

Follow our Blackhawks writers at @TCLBlackhawks on Twitter, and you can find me at @hockeyfied.