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Olympic Roundup: Russia Blanks Norway, Latvia Upsets Switzerland, Austria and Slovakia Eliminated

February 18th, 2014 at 3:26 PM
By Frank Vajcner

The medal round for Olympic Hockey began today, and two feel good stories continued.

The biggest story of the day was 11th-seeded Latvia knocking off 6th-seeded Switzerland 3-1. Oskars Bartulis and Lauris Darzins both scored for Latvia, who will make their first appearance in the Olympic quarterfinals.

Latvia went winless in group play, which included a 1-0 loss to the same Swiss team. They will face Canada in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The other tournament darling, Slovenia, continued to make waves in their first ever Olympic appearance as they blanked Austria 4-0.

"In the beginning it was mission impossible," Slovenia coach Matjaz Kopitar said. "But we played well."

What's even more special is that Kopitar is getting to coach his son, Anze, a center for the Los Angeles Kings. The younger Kopitar, who is Slovenia's lone NHL player, scored a goal in the first period.

Former Detroit Red Wing Jan Mursak added an empty netter in the third, while goaltender Robert Kristan stopped all 30 shots for a shutout. Slovenia will face top-seeded Sweden on Wednesday.

Russia was able to overcome a slow start against Norway to cruise to a 4-0 win of their own. Alexander Radulov scored twice, while Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk assisted on three of Russia's four goals.

The host nation advances to play Finland.

Slovakia battled back from a 4-0 deficit to get within a goal of the Czech Republic, but it wasn't enough as the Czechs held on to win 5-3. Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar recorded an assist.

The quarterfinals will take place on Wednesday, and will go as follows (all times eastern):

  • Sweden vs. Slovenia (3 a.m, NBC Sports Network)
  • Finland vs. Russia (7:30 a.m, NBC Sports Network)
  • United States vs. Czech Republic (Noon, USA Network)
  • Canada vs. Latvia, Noon, MSNBC, CBC)
Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, NHL, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar

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