Pool play is over at the 2014 Winter Olympic men's hockey tournament and it gave us some surprisingly competitive games. While the rise of the Swiss as a death-trap of defensive hockey was somewhat expected, who saw Latvia putting three goals by Henrik Lundqvist? Or the Czechs going through a ton of drama before getting themselves somewhat righted? Or Slovenia? Oh, Slovenia.
Team America's success in pool play was a tiny bit surprising, but the fact is that Russia was their only legitimate challenge in their first three games. Of course, that win over Russia has the entire country buzzing about the rest of this hockey tournament, which is good for the game. Similar to how the United States beating Canada in the prelims at Vancouver was good for the game, but maybe with a different finish?
Anyway, the women's tournament gave us a day off. They'll play again, with Team USA likely facing off against Canada, on Thursday at Noon ET on NBC, live in all time zones. But for now, we give you the schedule for what should be two of the better days of hockey all year. Eight games in two days, including four on Wednesday that will likely be the eight best teams in the world fighting for their survival.
Notable is that, for the first time in the tourney, Team USA will not be airing games on NBC Sports Network. The USA Network gets the pleasure of handling their quarterfinal against either Czech Republic or Slovakia. NBCSN handles both of the semifinals, so they'll be back there on Friday. Hopefully. Get ready.
|Feb. 18||3 a.m. ET||Slovenia vs. Austria||NBCSN|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Russia vs. Norway||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Switzerland vs. Latvia||MSNBC|
|Noon ET||Czech Republic vs. Slovakia||NBCSN|
|Feb. 19||3 a.m. ET||Slovenia/Austria vs. Sweden||NBCSN|
|7:30 a.m. ET||Russia/Norway vs. Finland||NBCSN|
|Noon ET||Czech Republic/Slovakia vs. USA||USA|
|Noon ET||Switzerland/Latvia vs. Canada||MSNBC|