Captain Nicklas Lidstrom and goalie Henrik Lundqvist look on following a Slovakian goal. via www.iihf.com
What a wild set of games that took place yesterday. Never thought that Sweden was guaranteed to NOT medal and the Russia/Canada game was a laugher after a while.
Game one: United States 2, Switzerland 0
This game was a lot closer than expected and about 90% of that goes to the play of Jonas Hiller. Zach Parise scored both USA goals and led them to the next round as Ryan Miller was solid all game long. Parise's first goal came after a shot from the point by the Red Wings' own Brian Rafalski. Parise's goal was all that the US needed and then he added an empty netter in the waning seconds of the third period.
Game two: Canada 7, Russia 3
Apparently, Canada is the Hulk. You won't like them when they're angry. Canada went on a rampage against Germany and continued that again, looking even more impressive against Russia. There were far too many goals to relay to you here. Russia was unable to play defense and Evgeni Nabokov didn't help the cause too much with coming out so aggressively against a tremendous Canadian passing game. Canada's physical play, passing and teamwork was too much for the Russian defense to handle and the collapse started early.
Game three: Finland 2, Czech Republic
This was a pretty close game all night long. Niklas Hagman scored on the power play to put Finland up 1-0 with under 7 minutes to play in the 3rd period. Valtteri Filppula fired the puck into the vacant net with 1:35 to play. Hagman lead all Finns with 7 shots on goal while Jaromir Jagr of Czech Republic was held to 2 shots. Both teams ended the game with 31 shots. Finland will take on the United States in the semi-final round.
Game four: Slovakia 4, Sweden 3
Probably a much bigger upset than Russia losing to Canada, this game ends Swedish reign and guarantees they cannot medal in these Games. Two Slovakian goals in the second period were tied up by two Sweden goals, including one from Henrik Zetterberg. Pavol Demitra put the Slovakians up by one late in the second and then a goal from Tomas Kopecky (WHO?!) put the game out of reach for the defending gold medalists, even with a Daniel Alfredsson tally soon after. Slovakia will go on to play Canada in the semi-final round.