2014 Winter Olympic Hockey: Slovenia Upsets Slovakia, Sweden Wins Group C

Bruce Bennett

Another busy day in group play as the Czech Republic suffered another setback and Slovenia gets their first ever Olympic win.

It was a good day for T.J. Oshie, freedom, and their girlfriend, the Statue of Liberty, but not a particularly good one for Dallas Stars players.

Valeri Nichushkin did his best to ruin things for the United States in the early going as Russia carried the play through much of the first period, getting in a couple of shots and drawing a penalty to put that absolutely frightening power play on the ice.

The good guys prevailed, however, and in controversial fashion, as you've no doubt read by now. The IIHF's rule on even slightly dislodged goals is rigid and unilateraly unintrepretable- Good for the US of A today, but perhaps in need of a modification in the future.

Imagine how we'd feel if the tables were turned?

Either way, if the United States avoids a monumental letdown tomorrow back-to-back and dispatches Slovenia they'll win (the then very appropriately named) Group A no matter what Russia manages against Slovakia.

Slovenia 3, Slovakia 1

In a stunner Saturday morning Slovenia won its first ever Olympic game, playig in its first ever Olympic tournament, defeating Slovakia 3-1.

"It's definitely a big thing for Slovenia hockey and now that we beat Slovakia, maybe people will not mix us up any more," said their only NHL player, Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar.

The Slovenians...Slovenes...Slovenites... Slovenians should not be taken lightly by the Americans tomorrow after giving Russia a run for their money in the tournament opener, taking the home country into the third period down just 3-2 before the game got out of reach. They're clearly believing right now, riding the high of making history for their country of just two million people.

Switzerland 1, Czech Republic 0

It was a day full of stunners in Russia as Jaromir Jagr and friends continued to witness their own demise as a hockey playing nation.

Switzerland boasts Damian Brunner, Roman Josi, Nino Niederreiter, Mark Streit and most of all, Jonas Hiller, who still hasn't allowed a goal in this tournament. He has two shutouts. The team has scored two goals, and it's good enough for second place in the group.

An aging Czech roster almost completely full of NHL talent couldn't buy a goal Saturday, find themselves with a negative goal differential and a very uphill climb when the quarterfinals begin next week.

I should probably name the goal scorer in this one...Bodenmann. You know, good old Simon Bodenmann.

Sweden 5, Latvia 3

Latvia finished their group play 0-3, but pushed hard in all contests. Especially today. The Swedes barely scraped by the aforementioned Swiss and today found themselves turning back a fairly impressive Latvian attack in the third period, up just 4-3 with under 10 minutes to play.

"I think we have to step it up big time before the next game," said center Patrik Berglund. "We haven't played well at all, I think. I think we struggled against Switzerland, and we struggled even more today. They are really good teams but we got to play better and we haven't. We've been winning the games, but we haven't played well."

Sweden scored four power play goals to get by in this one. Loui Eriksson was held scoreless again in 18:20 of ice time.

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