Olympic Men's Hockey Bracket Progression From Sochi, Russia

The first round of competition is complete in the 2014 men’s Olympic hockey tournament. The next step is the qualification round. The top four teams coming out of the Preliminary round, also called the “round robin”, are :

1) Team Sweden

2) Team USA

3) Team Canada

4) Team Finland

These four teams earns an automatic berth into the quarter-final round. Eight teams will go on to play one game in the qualification round for the opportunity to stay alive in the tournament. The next four match ups are:

Russia vs Norway

Switzerland vs Latvia

Czech Republic vs Slovakia

Slovenia vs Austria

All four games are scheduled for the same day of competition. There will be no day off for these teams as they turn around to play the top four seeds in back to back games. Six of the seven Olympic New York Rangers moved on to the second round. Only Mats Zuccarello is fighting to get his team through to the next round. Based on the seeding, Ranger teammates will not face each other in a game before the Semi-final round.After the qualification round the games will shape up to be:

Sweden vs Slovenia/Austria winner

USA vs Czech Republic/Slovakia winner

Canada vs Switzerland/Latvia winner

Finland vs Russia/Norway winner

In other sports, this Olympics has been called “the year of the underdog”. Surprises have come at many turns. This tournament has already been overly exciting and is set up to be nothing less than thrilling as the medal chase continues. The Russians have struggled a bit with their top six forwards not playing to their full potential. Team Russia could find themselves watching the medal round from the stands.  Team Canada seems to have a new lineup for every game; they can’t seem to find anyone to play on a line with Sidney Crosby. Slovakia’s goal tending has been very interesting. Jaroslav Halak has not performed well but Jan Laco ran a clinic in his 65 minutes against Russia; despite losing in a shoot out. If Slovakia can figure out how to score more goals, they might manage to post an upset for the record books.  One thing is for sure, you won’t want to miss a game from this point forward.

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Tags: 2014 Olympics Men's Hockey Sochi Team USA

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