The qualification games for the men’s hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics are over, and the quarterfinals are now set:
2018 Winter Olympics Men’s Quarterfinals
|Feb 21||12:10 PM||Feb 20 10:10 PM||Czechia||USA|
|Feb 21||4:40 PM||Feb 21 2:40 AM||OAR||Norway|
|Feb 21||9:10 PM||Feb 21 7:10 AM||Canada||Finland|
|Feb 21||9:10 PM||Feb 21 7:10 AM||Sweden||Germany|
Norway beat Slovenia in their qualifier, in the biggest upset on the men’s side so far at this tournament. Their reward for that win is a meeting with Russia in the quarterfinals.
The winner of that game faces the winner of Czechia - USA which goes tonight at 10:10 PM. That will undoubtedly be a very close game, and either team could win it. The USA handily beat Slovakia in the qualifier to get this far.
On the other side of the bracket, Canada faces Finland tomorrow morning. Finland had a scare against South Korea, when the host team did not roll over for them, but they ultimately woke up and won it. This game is also tough to call as it pits the two best second place teams in the preliminary group play against each other.
The Finnish goalie, assumed to be Mikko Koskinen, is the equal in the KHL of Ben Scrivens, although Koskinen plays on a better team. The Canadian offence is a little underpowered, and the Finns have 2017 draft phenom Eeli Tolvanen and his defence equivalent Miro Heiskanen to spice things up.
The winner of Canada-Finland face the winner of Sweden-Germany. Germany upset the higher-ranked Swiss in a fairly nasty game full of hits and penalties, but they prevailed in the end. Sweden had no trouble with Germany in the preliminary round, and should roll to the semifinals.
On balance, we look like we’re headed for the Sweden-Russia gold medal game predicted by many. But there’s a lot of hockey between then and now, and Norway wasn’t supposed to even win a game on paper, so nothing is certain.