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POSTED ON Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 2:23 PM

Photo by Getty Images.

The Czech Republic, whose roster includes Coyotes center Martin Hanzal and defenseman Zbynek Michalek, beat Slovakia, 5-3, on Tuesday in Sochi, Russia to advance to the quarterfinals and a match-up with the United States on Wednesday at 10 a.m. (Arizona time).

Coyotes Olympians Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Sweden), Lauri Korpikoski (Finland) and Mike Smith (Canada) qualified for the quarterfinals by virtue of their team's record in the preliminary round.

Hanzal played 16:25 and took two shots on goal on Tuesday while Michalek played 19:28 and took one shot on goal.

Click here to read more from NHL.com.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.17.2014 / 6:15 PM

SLOVAKIA vs. CZECH REPUBLIC

When: Tuesday, 10 a.m. MST (NBCSN, CBC)

Where: Shayba Arena

What's at stake: A veteran Czech Republic team, which features Coyotes center Martin Hanzal and Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek, suddenly finds itself as the seventh seed in the Olympics qualification round. Their struggles, however, pale in comparison to Slovakia, which lost 7-1 to the United States, was on the losing end of Slovenia's first-ever Olympic victory, and finished winless in preliminary play.

The winner of this game moves on to the quarterfinals, and the loser will be eliminated from the tournament.

Photo by Getty Images.

Czech Republic: A 1-0 loss to Switzerland on Saturday left the Czech Republic frustrated with its inability to solve goalie Jonas Hiller. Led by Jaromir Jagr, who is playing in his fifth Olympics and scored a goal in each of the first two games in Sochi, the Czechs still feature plenty of offensive talent and hope to have forward Patrik Elias back from an illness.

"Both teams had their chances, but I think we had a little bit more," said Czech goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 25 shots in defeat Saturday. "Their goalie played really well, and we hit the post twice. If you don't score a goal, you can't win. I think they have a good defensive system, and it is tough to play against them when they score a goal [early]."

Slovakia: Off those disturbing losses to the U.S. and Slovenia, Slovakia turned to its third goalie, Jan Laco, over NHL players Jaroslav Halak and Peter Budaj. Laco nearly stole the game Sunday from Russia before falling 1-0 in a shootout.

"[Laco] was amazing. He kept us in the game," defenseman Andrej Meszaros said. "We had some chances, but we helped him too defensively. That's what teams do. The goalie helps us, and we help the goalie."

The backup to former NHL goalie Michael Leighton with Donbass of the Kontinental Hockey League, Laco made 36 saves, 15 in the third period, to help force Russia into a qualifying-round game against Norway while boosting the Slovaks’ confidence.

"I really thought we had good bounce-back after [Saturday against Slovenia]," captain Zdeno Chara said. "We just have to build on that and get ready for our next opponent. You always have a chance in this tournament no matter what you do in your first games. You can still move along if you win that do-or-die game. We have to get ready for that."

What's next: The winner plays the United States in a quarterfinal game Wednesday at noon ET. The U.S. defeated Slovakia 7-1 in the preliminary-round opener for each team.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.17.2014 / 10:38 AM

NOTE: Coyotes players Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Sweden), Martin Hanzal (Czech Republic), Lauri Korpikoski (Finland), Zbynek Michalek (Czech Republic), and Mike Smith (Canada) are in Sochi competing for their countries at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The preliminary round ended Sunday and each team has played three games. Below are the key stats for the five Coyotes playing in the Olympics thus far as the tournament shifts into elimination mode on Tuesday.




Ekman-Larsson

Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Defenseman
Sweden

Games: 3
Goals: 0
Assists: 3
TOI/game: 13:57
Shots: 4
Plus/Minus: +3

Next game: Wed. vs. Slovenia/Austria winner


Hanzal

Martin Hanzal
Forward
Czech Republic

Games: 2
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
TOI/game: 12:46
Shots: 3
Plus/Minus: +1

Next game: Tues. vs. Slovakia


Korpikoski

Lauri Korpikoski
Forward
Finland

Games: 3
Goals: 2
Assists: 0
TOI/game: 15:33
Shots: 5
Plus/Minus: +1

Next game: Wed. vs. Russia/Norway winner


Michalek

Zbynek Michalek
Defenseman
Czech Republic

Games: 3
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
TOI/game: 17:32
Shots: 4
Plus/Minus: +4

Next game: Tues. vs. Slovakia


Smith

Mike Smith
Goalie
Canada

Games: 1 - (dressed, did not play)
Next game: Wed. vs. Switzerland/Latvia winner

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.16.2014 / 7:07 PM

NOTE: Coyotes players Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Sweden), Martin Hanzal (Czech Repbulic), Lauri Korpikoski (Finland), Zbynek Michalek (Czech Republic), Lauri Korpikoski (Finland), and Mike Smith (Canada) are in Sochi competing for their countries at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

SOCHI -- The preliminary round is over and the field is set, meaning it's time for some knockout hockey at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Photo by Getty Images.

If you were engrossed in the drama of the tournament during the past five days, just wait until the games resume Tuesday with the qualification round, because now it gets interesting and now it gets real.

Either you win or you go home.

NOTE: Click here to see Tuesday's schedule

"It doesn't matter how we win," Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "It's whether we win."

Sweden, the United States, Canada and Finland won't be tested until Wednesday. Those four nations received automatic byes into the quarterfinals because of their success in the preliminary round.

The Swedes earned the No. 1 seed as the only team to win all three of its Group C games in regulation. The Americans got the No. 2 seed with eight points and a plus-11 goal-differential, two better than the third-place Canadians, who also had eight points. The Finns are fourth with seven points.

Click here to read more from NHL.com.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 02.16.2014 / 2:22 PM

Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski played 16:05 and was minus-1 for Finland on Sunday as Canada beat the Finns, 2-1 in overtime, at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, who is on Canada's roster, did not dress for this game.

Click here to read more from NHL.com.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 7:58 PM

FINLAND vs. CANADA

When: Sunday, 10 a.m. MT (USA, CBC) and online

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: The two best teams in Group B meet, with the winner guaranteed a bye into the quarterfinals. The loser could get a pass through to the final eight if it's the best of the three second-place finishers. Neither team had much trouble beating Austria and Norway in its first two games.

Each team has to make a decision about who will start in goal. Canada has surrendered one goal in two games and got a shutout from Roberto Luongo in a 6-0 win against Austria after Carey Price was in goal for a 3-1 win against Norway. Tuukka Rask had his struggles in Finland's 8-4 win against Austria; Kari Lehtonen was sharp in a 6-1 win against Norway, and Antti Niemi has yet to play.

Click to read more

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 2:28 PM

Photo by Getty Images.

Coyotes defenseman Oliver-Ekman-Larsson notched an assist to help Sweden defeat Latvia, 5-3, on Saturday at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Ekman-Larsson assisted on Sweden's fourth goal, scored by Jimmie Ericsson on a power play at 18:47 of the second period.

Ekman-Larsson and his Swedish teammates have won all three of their Olympic games thus far.

Click here to read more from NHL.com.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 2:19 PM

Coyotes center Martin Hanzal played 13:07 and won 7 of 12 face-offs, but he and his Czech Republic teammates could not get the puck past Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller on Saturday in a 1-0 loss to Switzerland at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek played 16:47 for Czech Republic and took three of his team's 26 shots on goal.

Click here to read more from NHL.com

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POSTED ON Friday, 02.14.2014 / 9:09 PM


SWITZERLAND vs. CZECH REPUBLIC

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.  MT (NBCSN)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: With Sweden already owning a win against each team, Switzerland and the Czech Republic are playing for second place in Group C. The Czechs enter off a 4-2 win, against Latvia in the early game Friday, in which Coyotes Olympians Martin Hanzal and Zbynek Michalek each earned assists; the Swiss dropped a 1-0 decision to Sweden later in the day.

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SWEDEN vs. LATVIA

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. MT (USA)

Where: Shayba Arena

What's at stake: Sweden, for whom Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson competes, will look to find some chemistry in its forward lines as it attempts to replace captain Henrik Zetterberg, who will miss the remainder of the 2014 Sochi Olympics due to a herniated disk in his back. Latvia, which has put a nice scare into its first two opponents before coming up short, will try once more to pull off a major upset.

Click to read more


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POSTED ON Friday, 02.14.2014 / 2:00 PM

Photo by Getty Images.

Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski scored two goals on Friday as Finland defeated Norway, 6-1, at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Korpikoski, playing in the Games for the first time, scored his first Olympic goal at 6:51 of the first period then netted his second goal at 8:03 of the second period.

Click here to read more from NHL.com

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