Olympic Hockey Day 5 Preview
Throughout the entire 2018 Winter Games, NBC Olympics staff will preview the upcoming slate of hockey games and recap the prior day’s action.
The men's tournament kicks off on Day 5, while the a quartet of women's teams wrap up preliminary-round play in the busiest day of hockey yet in PyeongChang.
Team USA begins its pursuit of the gold medal on the men’s side with a game against Slovenia. Without active NHL players in PyeongChang, the U.S. will rely on a roster filled with veterans playing in international leagues. 39-year-old Brian Gionta is the undisputed leader of the squad with more than 1,000 career NHL games under his belt, as well as a Stanley Cup victory with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. There are some future stars to watch as well, headlined by University of Denver forward Troy Terry, who was Team USA’s hero at the 2017 World Junior Championship.
Slovenia is missing its one marquee name: Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. However, the roster that made it into the quarterfinals in Sochi four years ago remains largely intact. Don’t necessarily expect a repeat of 2014’s lopsided 5-1 American victory.
Tune in at 7:10 a.m. on NBCSN.
The Olympic Athletes from Russia are the presumptive favorite entering the tournament thanks to a deep pool of talent in the KHL, Russia’s domestic league. Former NHL superstars Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk will lead the way against Slovakia.
"I think everybody has a lot of talent here," Kovalchuk told reporters. "There are five, six teams at the same level that have a lot of young kids who will be future NHLers."
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 a.m.
Somebody will make history in Wednesday's Korea-Japan matchup as both teams seek their first ever Olympic victory in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere. Both programs have improved in recent years, earning praise from their more experienced opponents in Group B, and a victory over a fierce geographical rival could boost the development of women's hockey in either nation.
Puck drop is set for 2:40 a.m. on NBCSN.
The two undefeated teams of Group B face off as Sweden takes on Switzerland to see who will advance to the quarterfinals as the higher seed. The Swiss squad features the most lethal offensive threat in the tournament so far, Alina Muller, who has racked up seven points across the opening two games (five goals, two assists). The 2014 bronze medalists will hope for another strong performance from their 19-year-old star as Switzerland looks to position itself for a strong run in the latter stages of the Games.
Meanwhile, Sweden will counter with red-hot goaltender Sara Grahn, who has turned away 49 of 50 shots for a sparkling .980 save percentage so far this tournament.
Watch the action live on NBCSN at 10:10 p.m.
From Day 4 at the Olympics
Canada 4, Finland 1
Meghan Agosta inched closer to a Canadian record with another stellar performance in the preliminary round of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics as her squad topped Team Finland 4-1 Monday.
Agosta, 31, scored her 16th Olympic goal as she took sole possession of second place on Canada’s women’s all-time Olympic scoring list, pulling her within two of Hayley Wickenheiser.
Finland had eyes on medaling in this year’s competiton but had to face both North American powerhouses in its first two games of the 2018 Winter Games.
Scott Charles contributed to this report
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