Mens Olympic Hockey Schedule 2014: Viewing Guide for Quarterfinals

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IFebruary 18, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 16: Phil Kessel #81 of the United States shoots against Luka Gracnar #40 of Slovenia in the third period during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day nine of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

Heading into the final days in Sochi, the men's 2014 Olympic hockey tournament is heating up with the quarterfinals set to begin with all four games scheduled for Wednesday.

Eight teams remain in contention for the gold, which you can see in this gorgeous bracket, courtesy of FanSided:

The only real surprise from the qualifying round was Latvia's win over Switzerland. All the other top eight seeds are represented in the quarterfinals. 

It's win-or-go-home time for these remaining squads from here on out, and every game will be ferociously contested.

Here's a look at the television schedule for all four games on Wednesday, courtesy of

GameTV StationTime (ET)
Sweden vs. SloveniaNBC Sports Network3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m.
Finland vs. RussiaNBC Sports Network7:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Canada vs. LatviaMSNBC12 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
USA vs. Czech RepublicUSA Network12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Feb 14, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Switzerland players huddle up before a men's preliminary round ice hockey game against Sweden during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Sweden was the only team to finish qualifiers with a clean sweep, and it should have little trouble taking down Slovenia to start the busy day.

Nick Goss of NESN elaborates:

The Swedes will easily advance to the semifinals because they have too much offensive firepower for a Slovenia team that’s scored just six goals in three games, and their blue line has the speed required to shut down skilled Austrian forwards Michael Grabner (who has an Olympics-leading five goals) and Thomas Vanek.

Conversely, Finland could give Russia a run for its money in the second game of the day. 

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The Russians weren't particularly sharp during qualifiers, and Finland was an overtime loss to Canada away from claiming one of the top couple of seeds heading into the playoffs. 

However, the host nation will have the energy of the home crowd behind it, and the team's offense is capable of putting up goals in bunches.

"Everybody knows we have such a good, talented team on offense. We just try to keep our energy and keep our emotion. It's working, and (on Wednesday) we're going to have emotions and strength for the quarterfinals," Ovechkin told The Associated Press (via ESPN) after Tuesday's win over Norway.

No. 3 seed Canada may have gotten a lucky break when Latvia (No.11) beat the difficult Swiss team in the final qualifier.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The Canadian team is absolutely loaded with such stars as Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrice Bergeron up front and superstar defender Drew Doughty—among others. 

The only current NHL player on Latvia's team is Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres, but the team is guided by star coach Ted Nolan. 

It will be truly shocking if Canada fails to advance to the semifinals over Latvia, as Adam Proteau of The Hockey News amusingly illustrates on Twitter:

While Canada is fighting a scrappy Latvian squad, the Americans will take on the Czech Republic.

Team USA is favored by many analysts to win gold, so it would be a stunner if the Czechs took down the mighty Americans. 

Jonathan Quick has been strong thus far for the U.S. team, while, over on the other side, Ondrej Pavelec is expected to go for the second game in a row, which could spell doom for the Czech Republic, as pointed out by James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail:

With a track record like that, you can bet the Americans will not be shy about letting pucks fly at Pavelec on Wednesday. 

Team USA shouldn't have any trouble dispatching this round's opponent, setting up a likely semifinals matchup against Canada, which would be one of the most highly anticipated events of the 2014 Winter Games. 


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