Sunday Olympic Points: Finland-Canada Highlights the Day

Clive Mason

We have some great match-ups on the last day of round-robin play.

SATURDAY GAMES

Slovenia 3, Slovakia 1

Finally an upset, although if you watch Slovakia play you can't really call it an upset. They were outplayed handily and the score was 3-0 up until the last minute, when they managed to put one past the Slovenian goalie. Anze Kopitar played a phenomenal game. Of course it won't be enough for the USA, but let's all remember this is their country's first-ever Olympic participation, and first-ever win. Well done.

USA 3, Russia 2 (SO)

Sigh. Drowning sorrow in fourth jar of Nutella.

Sweden 5, Latvia 3

The Latvians put up a valiant effort, even taking a 2-1 lead at one point, before Erik Karlsson did what Erik Karlsson does, which is drive offense from the blue line like crazy, and just like that the Swedes scored another 4 and pulled away. In the end, decimated Sweden won all 3 games, earned a bye to the quarters, and can place no worse than 2nd in seeding (and could finish first if the Finland-Canada game ends up tied after regulation). The bye earns them a much needed rest and allows them to regroup for the elimination round. Good for them.

Switzerland 1, Czech Republic 0

So the Swiss finish round-robin play having scored 2 goals and allowing 1 in 3 games. Jonas Hiller picked up his second shutout of the tournament (Reto Berra was in for the 0-1 loss to Sweden). They finished second in the group after Sweden and will be a tough out for whoever gets to play them. The Czechs had so many golden chances and muffed them all, spoiling Jagr's 42nd birthday. They ended up with a win and two losses, good for third in the group in front of winless Latvia.

SUNDAY SCHEDULE

Austria vs. Norway (3 am EST, USA)

Matchup of teams that both lost their first two games in a lopsided fashion to Group B powerhouses Canada and Finland. Austria has at least scored a few goals in this tournament. Prediction: Austria

Russia vs. Slovakia (7:30 am EST, USA)

Semyon Varlamov will be in goal for Russia. Neither Halak nor Budaj will start - apparently they are turning to Jan Laco. Tomas Kopecki is out today (and based on rumors also for the remainder of the tournament) after being hit by Slovenian defenseman Sabahudin Kovacevic (for which he was suspended). They've had a really rough tournament so far, easily the biggest disappointment in Sochi (with the Czechs not far behind). Prediction: Russia

Slovenia-USA (7:30 am EST, NBCSN)

Ryan Miller gets the start in goal for USA and will be backed up by Jimmy Howard. Derek Stepan is in for Max Pacioretty. Defense is unchanged, although Brooks Orpik looks to be the 7th D. Here is the full game preview. Oh, and the Ameticans are wearing fabulous uniforms today. Might be the best ever. Check them out. Slovenia handily defeated Slovakia yesterday (3-1 but the only Slovakian goal came in garbage time 17 seconds before the final buzzer). Robert Kristan was brilliant for them in goal, but needs a rest so Luka Gracnar will start in goal. Prediction: USA

Finland vs. Canada (12 noon EST, USA)

Finland lost yet another center as Aleksander Barkov, who centered the first line after the team lost the Koivus and Fillpula, is himself out for the tournament with an undisclosed lower-body injury. The injury occurred in the third period of their game against Norway, after which Jussi Jokinen played some shifts at center. Tuukka Rask will start in goal. I hope he brought the nets with those goal posts from Boston. Over on Canada side, Carey Price will start in goal. Chris Kunitz will be split up from Crosby and paired with Getzlaf and Perry. Martin St. Louis and PK Subban will be scratches for Canada. Prediction: Canada

STATS

Here is the latest scoring leaderboard.

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