Olympic Hockey Day 11 Preview: Men’s qualification playoffs begin


Throughout the entire 2018 Winter Games, NBC Olympics staff will preview the upcoming slate of hockey games and recap the prior day’s action.

Men’s Tournament

United States vs. Slovakia, 10:10 p.m. ET, NBCSN | LIVE STREAM

Team USA can put a disappointing preliminary round in the rearview mirror by clinching a quarterfinal berth with a victory against Slovakia. The U.S. has shown flashes of great play, most notably from rising college stars Jordan Greenway and Ryan Donato, but the squad will have to regroup after a comprehensive 4-0 loss to the Olympic Athletes from Russia last time out.

A rematch against Slovakia-the only team the U.S. has beaten so far-could be just what the doctor ordered, but the first meeting was no cakewalk, ending in a narrow 2-1 American victory. After beating OAR to open the tournament, the underdogs will fancy their chances to advance and face the Czech Republic in the next round.

Slovenia vs. Norway, 2:40 a.m. ET, NBCSN | LIVE STREAM

Other than an 8-2 pasting at the hands of OAR, Slovenia had a very strong preliminary round, finishing second in Group B with a pair of overtime victories over the United States and Slovakia. The team looks to keep things rolling against Norway, which is yet to record a win at these Games. The winner faces an unenviable matchup against OAR in the quarterfinals.

Switzerland vs. Germany, 7:10 a.m. ET, NBCSN | LIVE STREAM

After coming into the tournament as one of the least-favored teams in the field, the Germans have put together a respectable campaign. They opened with a 5-2 loss to Finland, but after that, they dropped a narrow 1-0 game to Sweden before picking up their first win of the Olympics in a 2-1 shootout victory against Norway. Germany now takes on Switzerland with a quarterfinal date against Sweden on the line. The Swiss lost their preliminary-round games to Canada and the Czech Republic by a combined score of 9-2, but their one victory was an 8-0 romp over South Korea.

Finland vs. South Korea, 7:10 a.m. ET, USA Network | LIVE STREAM

It took less than five minutes for South Korea to score its first-ever Olympic goal in its opening game, but a maiden victory has remained elusive in the hosts’ debut at the Games. It’s hard to imagine it will come against Finland, which was the only two-win team not to earn a bye following the preliminary round. Korea has had trouble keeping the puck out of the net, and the underdogs will have their work cut out for them against 18-year-old sniper Eeli Tolvanen: arguably the biggest non-OAR offensive threat in the tournament.

Women’s Tournament

Sweden vs. Korea, 10:10 p.m. ET | LIVE STREAM

After a strong preliminary round, Sweden has faded dramatically, losing its quarterfinal matchup to Finland 7-2 before dropping its first classification game against Japan 2-1. Team Korea will hope this opens the door for its first-ever Olympic victory-or at least a more competitive game than the two teams’ first meeting, which ended in an 8-0 Swedish blowout.

Switzerland vs. Japan, 2:40 a.m. ET | LIVE STREAM

Japan hadn’t won an Olympic game in its history coming into PyeongChang. All of a sudden, the team finds itself riding a two-game winning streak after victories over Korea and Sweden. Can the Japanese make it three in a row in a rematch against the Swiss? Switzerland triumphed 3-1 in the first meeting and will look for a repeat performance to wrap up its tournament. With seven goals so far, forward Alina Muller still has a chance to tie or break the Olympic record for goals in a single tournament (9) with a strong effort in her final game.

From the women’s semifinals on Day 10

United States 5, Finland 0 | Read recap

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