Following the final four preliminary round games of men’s hockey in Pyeongchang, the playoffs are set.
Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Olympic Athletes from Russia and Canada all earn byes to the quarter-finals.
The US will play Slovakia in qualification round action, with the winner playing the Czech Republic in quarterfinals. The winner of Slovenia/Norway will face the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Canada will play the winner of Finland/Korea, while Sweden will play the winner of Switzerland/Germany.
Germany 2, Norway 1
Germany outshot Norway 38-29 but edged them in the shootout in their final preliminary round game.
The game remained scoreless halfway through, despite three power-play opportunities for Germany (and two for Norway!) Finally, Patrick Hager put the Germans on the board on the power play midway through the second period.
Norway tied it in the third period on a goal by Alexander Reichenberg, and the teams headed to OT, then shootout.
Hager had the game-winning goal for his team in the shootout.
Former Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had two penalty minutes and three shots on goal. He played 25:44, including 2:04 in the overtime period.
Czech Republic 4, Switzerland 1
Jonas Hiller’s 29 saves weren’t enough for the Swiss to overcome the Czech Republic, who scored twice late on the empty-net to increase their margin of victory.
Michal Repack put the Czechs on the board 7:09 int o the game on the power play, and his team held to that lead for about seven minutes. Thomas Rufenacht tied the game later in the first period.
Just 3:02 into the third period, Dominik Kubalik made it 2-1 in favor of the Czech Republic.
With under four minutes to play and down one goal, the Swiss pulled Hiller for the extra attacker. Roman Cervenka potted an empty-net goal just over two minutes later. After pulling Hiller once more, the Swiss found themselves down 4-1 after Repik scored his second of the game, another empty-netter.
Canada 4, Korea 0
Canada absolutely overpowered Korea in this game; not only did they win 4-0, they outshout them 49-19. Props to Korean net minder Matt Dalton who had 45 saves in the loss for his team, who’s still looking for their first win of the tournament.
It took 7:36 of game action for Canada to get on the board, with a goal by Christian Thomas. They went up 2-0 in the second period thanks to Eric O’Dell.
Maxim Lapierre made it a three-goal game in the third period; Gilbert Brule capped the game off with a power-play goal with under two minutes to play in regulation.
Former Buffalo Sabres forward Derek Roy had two assists in the game, adding helpers on his team’s last two goals. He also had one shot on goal and played 18:27, most of any Canadian forward.
Marc-Andre Gragnani had one assist, three shots and was a plus-1 in 16:37.
Sweden 3, Finland 1
Sweden scored twice in the third period to narrowly edge Finland in the final preliminary round game.
Anton Lander put the Swedes up with under five to play in the first period, but Joonas Kemppainen tied the game just 1:32 into the second period.
Less than nine minutes into the third period, Patrik Zackrisson made it a 2-1 game. Sweden’s Oscar Moller added a power-play empty-net goal with just five seconds remaining in regulation to seal the 3-1 win.
Viktor Fasth was in net for Sweden, so our old pal Jhonas Enroth did not play. NHL Draft prospect Rasmus Dahlin also did not play.
Linus Omark had two assists, one shot and was a plus-1 in 18:09.
Next Action (day & time EST)
United States vs. Slovakia (Monday, 10:10 pm, NBCSN)
Slovenia vs. Norway (Tuesday, 2:40 am, NBCSN)
Finland vs. South Korea (Tuesday, 7:10 am, USA Network)
Switzerland vs. Germany (Tuesday, 7:10 am, NBCSN)