VANCOUVER – Today begins the process by which teams are eliminated from playoff contention in the men's hockey tournament. Over the next few hours any chance to continue in the hopes of competing for a medal will be dashed.
Eight teams meet today and the winners of each game will move on to the quarterfinals.
Switzerland and Belarus opened the day at Canada Hockey Place. The last time these teams met in Salt Lake at the 2002 Winter Olympics, Switzerland won 2-1.
In the important middle game at CHP, Canada takes on Germany. All eyes in the country will be focused on this game.
Canada has never lost to a unified Germany at the Olympic Winter Games. In 11 encounters, Canada has won 10 times and tied once. They last met in Turin when Canada beat Germany 5-1.
Germany must pick up their offence, scoring a tournament low three goals. All of those goals were scored in a 5-3 loss to Belarus. They have been shut out twice.
Roberto Luongo will be in net. In his only game of the tournament Luongo will seek to keep the hopes of Canada alive here in Vancouver. The winner will take on Russia in the quarterfinals.
The Czechs and Latvians will meet for the first time in Olympic competition tonight.
Jagr and the Czech are looking to bounce back from their 4-2 loss to the Russians and advance into the top eight. Marke Zidlicky leads the Czechs with five points (all five assists). Tomas Vokoun has a 2.01 goals against average and has registered both of his teams wins.
Slovakia has already earned a big win over Russia. Now they will need to beat Norway, a team they have not faced before at the Winter Olympics. Slovakia has been led by the efforts of Marian Hossa and Jaroslav Halak. Hossa leads the Slovaks in scoring with two goals and an assist.