The qualification round of men’s hockey at the Olympics is now in the books, with eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals. The United States nabbed a big win over Slovakia to continue their journey for gold, while Norway, Finland and Germany also came out victorious to move forward.
United States 5, Slovakia 1
The American men haven’t had an incredible tournament, but they won when it mattered most, at least up until this point. The US outshot Slovakia 33-23 and scored three goals in the second period en route to the victory.
After a scoreless first period, Ryan Donato got the US on the board just 1:36 into the middle frame. James Wisnewski made it 2-0 less than a minute later, with the Americans on a two-man advantage.
Mark Arcobello added a goal later in the period to put the US up by three, but Slovakia got one back on the power play late in the second period. Peter Ceresnak had the lone goal.
Garrett Roe potted a goal in the third period, and Donato added his second of the game, and the Americans skated off with the big win.
Ryan Zapolski was in net for the US.
Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta had two penalty minutes and three shots on goal in 15:27. Once again, Sabres prospect Will Borgen did not play. He has yet to see any action in the Olympics. Former Rochester Americans goaltender and Williamsville native David Leggio did not dress for the game.
Norway 2, Slovenia 1
Despite beign outshot 34-26, Norway pulled off a 2-1 win over Slovenia thanks to an overtime goal by Alexander Bonsaksen.
Jan Urbas put Slovenia up 6:38 into the first period on a power-play goal, and the team held onto that lead for quite a while. It wasn’t until 3:06 into the third period that Norway would tie it on a goal by Tommy Kristiansen.
After sixty minutes, the game remained locked at one. It took 3:06 of overtime before Norway came out on top. Mark Rosseli Olsen and Patrick Thoresen assisted on the game-winning goal.
Finland 5, Korea 2
Although Korea put up a strong second period, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Finns.
Petri Kontiola struck first for Finland in the opening period, on a power-play goal less than five minutes into the action. Kontiola would score again just 3:44 into the second period, again on the power play, to put his team up by a pair.
Miro Heiskanen made it a three-goal game minutes later.
Korea got on the board halfway through the game on a goal by Brock Radunske, then closed the gap to one goal on a goal by Jin Hui Ahn two minutes later.
Despite the strong middle period, Korea couldn’t complete the comeback. Juuso Hietanen scored on the power-play 7:20 into the third period to make it 4-2 before Sakari Manninen potted an empty-netter with seven seconds to play.
Germany 2, Switzerland 1
Yannic Seidenberg had the game-winning goal for Germany in overtime to send his team to the quarterfinals on a narrow win over the Swiss.
Just nine seconds into the game, Switzerland’s Cody Almond was called for a penalty for checking to the head and neck area. This gave Germany a five-minute man advantage, which they took advantage of. Leonhard Pfoderl put his team on the board just 1:19 into the game.
The Germans then took four straight penalties, first equalizing the five-minute power play, then giving the Swiss three straight power plays of their own. Despite these chances, it wasn’t until the second period that Switzerland would tie the game on a goal by Simon Moser.
After a scoreless third, it took just 26 seconds of overtime for Germany’s Seidenberg to score the game-winner.
Former Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had two shots on goal and was a minus-1 in 14:55.
Next Action (day & time EST)
Czech Republic vs. United States, Tuesday, 10:10 p.m., CNBC
Olympic Athletes from Russia vs. Norway, Wednesday, 2:40 a.m., NBCSN
Canada vs. Finland, Wednesday, 7:10 a.m., NBCSN
Sweden vs. Germany, Wednesday, 7:10 a.m., USA Network