It’s almost that time, ladies and gentlemen. The stage has been set for the next round in 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, which has been updated to reflect the outcome of today’s Qualification Round matchups.
In the wee hours of the morning today, Slovenia was able to overcome Austria by the score of 4-0. As a result, they will move on to the Quarterfinal Round. Tomorrow morning, they will have their hands full as they take on Detroit Red Wings right wing Daniel Alfredsson and Team Sweden.
Next up, we have Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia. This morning, they overcame Team Norway by the score of 4-0. (I am sensing a pattern here.) This means they will move on to the Quarterfinal Round and take on Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Sami Salo, along with one of the most dangerous goaltending trifectas in the competition, Team Finland.
The next matchup was one of particular interest to Tampa Bay Lightning fans. Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas and Left Wing Ondrej Palat, along with Team Czech Republic, outlasted Lightning right wing Richard Panik and Team Slovakia, defeating them by the score of 5-3. Advancing to the Quarterfinal Round, they will take on Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Team USA.
Last, but certainly not least, we had Team Switzerland taking on Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis and Team Latvia. Latvia was able to defeat the Swiss team by the score of 3-1. Advancing to the Quarterfinal Round, they will have their hands full with Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis and Team Canada.
Team Canada has been favored since the beginning of the tournament as the team to beat, but as you know, in hockey anything is possible, and there is still a lot of hockey to be played in between now and the Gold Medal Game.
As I said before, no matter which team you follow or who you consider to be your favorite player, there is one thing for certain; there is an intense week of hockey in front of us. Each team will be battling it out on the ice for the privilege to stand on top of the podium and call themselves Olympic Gold Medalists.
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.