The Olympics rolled on Wednesday, with both Predators in early action advancing. Ryan Suter had a goal disallowed, while Shea Weber scored in the second period for Canada on his patented slap shot. Slovakia ousted Sweden, and the Finns shut out the Czechs. Take a look at the updated Olympic men's hockey bracket for who plays who in the semifinal games on Friday, and follow after the jump for your recaps.
Zach Parise had a breakout game for the Americans, scoring both goals in the Ryan Miller shutout. As mentioned, Ryan Suter had a goal disallowed when Ryan Kesler committed a penalty in front of the net. Parise scored on the power play, and then again into an empty net with little time remaining. Brian Rafalski and Suter continue to log the big minutes for the US, who got much better production out of their top line.
They'll face the winner of Finland/Czech Republic on Friday afternoon.
In my opinion, this was Shea Weber's best game as an Olympian. He and defensive partner Scott Niedermayer were almost exclusively paired against Russia's top line of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Alexander Semin. Weber repeatedly came out on top in physical battles, and rare were scoring chances with him and Niedermayer on the ice. Weber and the Canadians limited Ovechkin to 3 shots on goal and he finished at a -2. Weber scored on Evgeni Nabokov in the 2nd period, but at that point, it was the least of his contributions. After the game, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted this from Mike Babcock
If Canada is able to play the way they did tonight in the next two games, they are nearly unbeatable.
In what might be the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Slovakia has ousted the reigning champions. Patric Hornqvist finally got on on the board with a tally in the 2nd period, but it was too little, too late as Pavol Demitra had another strong game combined with another great outing from goalie Jaroslav Halak. Tomas Kopecky had the game winner for the Slovaks. Its probably safe to say that no one will be overlooking them anymore.
With Jaromir Jagr unable to give 100 percent, Miikka Kiprusoff took over in net for the Finns. Niklas Hagman scored the game winner in the third period, and Mikko Koivu slotted an empty netter to seal it. Martin Erat was called for a delay of game penalty in the 3rd which led to Hagman's goal, adding to what was a mediocre tournament for him.
Finland faces the United States on Friday afternoon.