2014 Winter Olympics: Team USA falls short and Coyotes d-men show up

Bruce Bennett

Today's roundup of Sochi hockey goodness includes point scoring by the Coyotes defensive core and a tough loss for Team USA in women's hockey.

Today marks the first day of men's hockey in Sochi and though it only featured two games, both had amazing performances.

Meanwhile, in the women's tournament, Team USA took on its biggest rival Team Canada in marquee matchup that might once again be a prediction of the gold medal game to come.

Though the men's games showed what the teams are capable of, especially when it comes to Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Erik Karlsson for Sweden, they have very little effect on seeding for now. The women's games though, have put Canada in the top seed with the United States in second allowing both teams to skip the quarterfinals round which will be held on Feb. 17.

Men's Tournament

Czech Republic vs. Sweden


1st

2nd

3rd

Final

Czech Republic

0

2

0

2

Sweden

2

2

0

4

Goals:

CZE: Marek Zidlicky (1), Jaromir Jagr (1)

SWE: Erik Karlsson (1, 2), Henrik Zetterberg (1), Patrik Berglund (1)

Ekman-Larsson and Erik Karlsson are proving to the be the defensive pair that so many hoped, and feared, they would be. Each had two points, Karlsson with two goals and OEL with two assists, for a combined involvement in three of Sweden's four goals. Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek also helped the Czechs with an assist on Marek Zidlicky second period goal.  Ekman-Larsson and Michalek now have a combined three points in this year's Olympic play, making the Coyotes tied with the New Jersey Devils for points by players in Sochi.

Latvia vs. Switzerland


1st

2nd

3rd

Final

Latvia

0

0

0

0

Switzerland

0

0

1

1

Goals:
LAT: None

SUI: Simon Moser (1)

A tough 60-minute game was decided in the last eight seconds as the Nashville Predators' Simon Moser put in the lone goal of the game against Latvia's Edgars Masalskis denying him the shutout and sealing the deal on Switzerland's first Sochi Olympic hockey win.  Masalskis stopped 38 shots of the 39 he faced while the Pacific Division's Jonas Hiller managed to halt all 21 that came near him. The true test for both teams will be on Valentine's Day as Switzerland takes on Sweden and the Czech Republic has a nice little visit with Latvia.

Group C Standings


Team

W

L

Points

Sweden

1

0

3

Switzerland

1

0

3

Latvia

0

1

0

Czech Republic

0

1

0

NOTE:  Groups A and B have yet to play in men's hockey.

Women's Tournament

Canada vs. United States


1st

2nd

3rd

Final

Canada

0

0

3

3

United States

0

1

1

2

Goals:

CAN: Meghan Agosta-Marciano (2, 3), Haley Wickenheiser (2)

USA: Hilary Knight (3), Anne Schleper (1)

The first period of this North American tilt had both teams scoreless, but a late goal in the second by Hilary Knight put the United States ahead. Canada's Meghan Agosta-Marciano was the star of the game with two goals in the third helping her team pull off the 3-2 victory.

However, the Canadians' second goal was up for debate.

Though American goalie Jessie Vetter seemed to have stopped the puck (and getting a whistle blown) it slipped through her pads and over the goal line. Review confirmed the goal giving Canada its go ahead goal. At 14:55 Agosta-Marciano scored what would become the game winner. This is the United States women's hockey team's first loss of the tournament.

Switzerland vs. Finland


1st

2nd

3rd

OT

Final

Switzerland

0

2

1

0

3

Finland

2

1

0

1

4

Goals:

SUI: Romy Eggimann (1), Phoebe Stanz (1), Stefanie Marty (1)

FIN: Jenni Hiirikoski (1, 2), Michelle Karvinen (1, 2)

A tough fight between the two European teams ended just a few minutes into overtime as Finland's Jenni Hiirikoski scored the game winner for the blue and white. It was a late power play goal by Switzerland's Stefanie Marty that forced the extra minutes but just wasn't quite enough to put the team that lost to the U.S 9-0 over the top. Both teams will either face Sweden or Russia in the quarterfinals depending on the outcome of their game tomorrow.

Group A Standings

Team

W

L

OTW

OTL

Points

Canada

3

0

0

0

9

United States

2

1

0

0

6

Finland

0

2

1

0

2

Switzerland

0

2

0

1

1

Group B Standings

Team

W

L

OTW

OTL

Points

Sweden

2

0

0

0

6

Russia

2

0

0

0

6

Japan

0

2

0

0

0

Germany

0

2

0

0

0

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