Friday, February 19, 2010
Day 4 theme: Finally, an upset!
Late Thursday: Slovakia 2, Russia 1, SO The Slovaks pulled off the first upset of the tournament after they capped an exciting day of hockey by beating Russia in a shootout. Jaroslav Halak was the MVP in this one, stopping 36 shots and holding the Russian attack at bay. The two ex-Flyers playing for Slovakia, Michal Handzus and Branko Radivojevic, did nothing of note.
Sweden 4, Belarus 2 Belarus hung tough and made the defending Olympic champs fight to earn the win. There were no current Flyers playing in this one and only one former Flyer, Peter Forsberg, who still hasn't registered a point in the Olympics.
Czech Republic 5, Latvia 2 Oskars Bartulis and the Latvians came up short yet again against a superior opponent. The Czech's got 3 quick goals in the first period and the game looked like it was going to be a blowout but Latvia hunkered down and played better from there. Despite committing a ton of penalties, the Latvians were just a bounce away from making things interesting in the third. As for Bartulis, he logged over 20 minutes of ice time and did plenty of penalty killing against the top Czech forwards. He's being asked to play way over his head for the Latvians and hasn't done anything to embarrass himself.
Games tomorrow (2/20): Finland (Timonen) vs. Germany, 12 am; Norway vs. Switzerland, 3 pm; Latvia vs. Slovakia, 7:30 pm; Germany vs. Belarus, 12 am. Look for my recap of Timonen from Friday's late game tomorrow.