If there’s a Cinderella team of the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament so far, it’s Slovenia. They upset Slovakia in the preliminary round, and then took it to Austria in their qualifying game. Now they suddenly find themselves in medal contention despite being considered the weakest team heading to Sochi just a week ago.
The teamwork and work ethic has been remarkable for Slovenia, but their reward for being the conquering underdog is a matchup against top-seeded Sweden. Even without Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Sedin, the Swedes ice a team that can roll four lines and exhaust a defensive group through hard work and puck movement.
The Swedes also feature arguably the best offensive-defenseman in Sochi. Erik Karlsson has been impossible to contain up to this point, and if Sweden can get the job done without Zetterberg and Sedin, Karlsson will be the reason why. This is a deep squad that can attack in a variety of ways though, and Slovenia will likely need to play the best game in their nation’s hockey history to come out on top in this one.
Can the feisty Slovenes continue their unlikely Olympic run? Or will Sweden prevail and move on to the next round? Tune in and find out. Here’s how to catch the game online.
Date: February 19
Start Time: 7:30 A.M. ET
Location: Sochi, Russia
TV Info: MSNBC
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra