Three Stars of The Night: Olympic Edition, Feb. 19, 2010

Blake BenzelCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2010

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 18:  Jaroslav Halak of Slovakia blocks a shot on goal by Alexander Ovechkin of Russia during the ice hockey men's preliminary game between Slovakia and Russia on day 7 of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 18, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Originally Published on Hockey Primetime .

First Star: Jaroslav Halak, Slovakia

Can you say upset? All right, so it wasn’t a huge upset, as Slovakia was one of the teams that many thought would be in medal contention in Vancouver, but the Slovaks 2-1 defeat of the Russians was definitely unexpected to say the least.

Halak stopped 36 of 37 shots, including 15 of 16 in the second and all 10 that he saw in the third—not to mention stopping six in the shootout. The only blemishes on his otherwise perfect game were a deflected goal in the second and an Ovechkin goal in the shootout.


Second Star: Jonas Hiller, Switzerland

43 saves between regulation and overtime, and three more in the shootout were the reason why the Swiss were able to hang with Team Canada for three periods of play. Hiller was absolutely stifling against the high-octane Team Canada attack, but the Swiss just didn’t have quite enough in the tank to gut out a win. Hiller carried Switzerland into the shootout, saving 16-of-17 shots he faced in the first and all 18 that he faced in the second.

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Third Star: Pavol Demitra, Slovakia

Demitra was on fire for the Slovaks, assisting on Marian Hossa’s game-tying goal in the third and burying the game winning goal in the 14th -round of the shootout. Demo also had five shots and was a plus-one for Slovakia’s surprising triumph over Russia.

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