It’s almost that time, ladies and gentlemen. The stage has been set for the opening rounds of the chase for the Gold Medal at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Need help keeping track of all the exciting hockey action? Never fear, we here at Bolts By The Bay have you covered.
Here is the official FanSided Hockey Bracket for the Medal Round.
As you can see, Team USA, Team Canada, Team Sweden, and Team Finland have all earned themselves a well-deserved bye on the first day of the medal rounds. This means that we will have eight other teams fighting it out for the right to continue on in the tournament and play their way towards the coveted Gold Medal game.
First off, we have Slovenia and Austria. The winner of this game will move on to the Quarterfinal Round to face off with New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden.
This brings us to Team Norway who will battle head-to-head with Alex Ovechkin and the host nation, Team Russia. The winner of this matchup will move on to face Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo and one of the most solid goaltending trifectas in the competition, Team Finland.
Next, we have Team Switzerland who will face off with Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis and Team Latvia. The winner of this battle will certainly have their hands full in the next round as they take on Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis and Team Canada.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas and left wing Ondrej Palat along with Team Czech Republic as they battle it out on the ice against Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch right wing Richard Panik and Team Slovakia. The winner of this matchup will move on the face Patrick Kane and Team USA.
There is no denying that this is going to be an intense week in the world of hockey. No matter which team you are pulling for in the competition, you can be assured of one thing. Each and every team that takes that ice has worked incredibly hard to get to where they are now, and win or lose there is one thing that can never be taken away from them. They will forever be known as Olympians.
Which team are you pulling for in the competition? Has there been a player that has pulled away from the pack and really shown themselves to be the MVP of the tournament thus far? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.
Make sure to continue to check back with us here at Bolts By The Bay as we bring you all the latest news and updates and help you track your favorite teams and players throughout the competition.