XXIV Olympic Winter Games | Beijing 2022

Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament Recap | XXIV Olympic Winter Games | Beijing 2022

In this post I will be recapping the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament from the XXIV Olympic Winter Games. The format for this tournament was a group stage followed by an elimination stage. In the group stage there was three groups with four teams each. Each team played the other teams in their group once during the group stage. No one was eliminated during the group stage. The group stage was just seeding for the elimination stage. The top four teams would advance to the Quarterfinals. The other eight teams played in the Playoff Qualification round.

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In Group A was Canada, China, Germany and the United States. In Group B was Czech Republic, Denmark, ROC (Russia), and Switzerland. In Group C was Finland, Latvia, Slovakia, and Sweden.

Prior to the tournament there was a lot of talk about whether or not the NHL would allow their players to go. After announcing that they would allow players to go they pulled out at the last possible minute. This meant that the best players in the world wouldn’t be at the 2022 Olympics. For a lot of north american fans this meant not watching the tournament. The United States had a lot of NCAA players and alumni in the tournament. I am pretty sure USA Hockey was trying to use this tournament to advertise NCAA Hockey. ROC (Russia) was basically the KHL (Russian top league) all-stars. China was in this tournament but had no business being here. China was ranked 32nd out of 55. They were the KHL team HC Kunlun Red Star. As preporation for the 2022 Olympics China founded a KHL team in 2016. The sole purpose of HC Kunlun Red Star was to create a national team for China. In the end HC Kunlun Red Star would lay in the 2022 Olympics as China. That would include a mostly non-Chinese roster. Using IIHF residency rules players who played two seasons with HC Kunlun Red Star could play for China in the 2022 Olympics. HC Kunlun Red Star qualified for the KHL playoffs in their first season and haven’t qualified since. They have finished last in their division every year. In this past season they won 7 out of 48 games. Their just a really bad team.

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The tournament started off with a game between ROC (Russia) and Switzerland. ROC (Russia) won that game 1-0. USA started off their tournament with an 8-0 win over China. Canada started their tournament with a 5-1 win over Germany. The United States beat Canada in what was the most anticipated game of the tournament. The United States won 4-2. China didn’t win any of their Group stage games. They scored a total of two goals in three games. They were shutout twice in three games. This was pretty much what people expected from China.

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The United States won Group A. They had a record of 3-0-0. Canada came in second in Group A with a record of 2-1-0. Germany came in third with a record of 1-2-0. China came in last in Group A with a record of 0-3-0.

ROC (Russia) won Group B. They had a record of 2-0-1. Denmark came in second with a record of 2-1-0. Czech Republic came in third with a record of 2-1-0. Switzerland came in last in Group B with a record of 0-2-1.

Finland won Group C. They had a record of 3-0-0. Sweden came in second with a record of 2-0-1. Slovakia came in third with a record of 1-2-0. Latvia finished last in Group C with a record of 0-3-0.

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Finland, United States, ROC (Russia) and Sweden automatically advanced to the Quarterfinals. Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, Canada and China played in the Playoff Qualification round.

Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 4-2 to advance and play Finland. Slovakia beat Germany 4-0 to advance and play the United States. Denmark beat Latvia 3-2 to advance to play ROC (Russia). Canada beat China to advance to play Sweden.

In the Quarterfinals, Finland beat Switzerland 5-1. Slovakia beat the United States 3-2 in a shootout. ROC (Russia) beat Denmark 3-1. Sweden beat Canada 2-0.

In the Semifinals, Finland played Slovakia. Finland won that game 2-0 to advance to the gold medal game. ROC (Russia) played Sweden. ROC (Russia) won 2-1 to advance to the gold medal game. Slovakia and Sweden would play in the bronze medal game.

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In the bronze medal game, Slovakia would take on Sweden. Slovakia won the game 4-0. Sweden got 4th place and no medal. Slovakia got the shutout. Not sure what went wrong for Sweden but they just couldn’t make it happen. This is the first time Slovakia has won a medal in Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey. Prior to this the highest they ever finished was 4th during Vancouver 2010.

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In the gold medal game ROC (Russia) played Finland. The final score was 2-1. Finland won gold. ROC (Russia) won silver. A lot of people were happy that ROC (Russia) didn’t win. This is Finlands first ever Olympic gold medal in Ice Hockey. Prior to this Finland won silver twice and bronze four times.

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Looking back it was enjoyable to watch. I am disappointed in the United States early exit. I think they were the best team in the tournament but just couldn’t make it happen. Canada didn’t put together a good team. Thats surprising coming from them. ROC (Russia) is lucky they won a medal. They didn’t have to face any difficult teams in the elimination round. China got destroyed which is on track for how well I thought they would do. Finland surprised me that they won gold. Going into this I didn’t see them as contenders for gold.

In the aftermath of this tournament Russia and Belarus are no longer a part of the International Ice Hockey Federation. While this is related to this tournament, this decision from the IIHF has nothing to do with this tournament. In fact the International Olympic committee has put out a statement asking for Russian athletes to be banned from all sports. I understand why they are calling for Russian athletes to be banned. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia isn’t the Russian peoples fault. While I do think that banning Russian national and domestic teams along with sponsors is the right move, I don’t think that banning Russian athletes from competing in things like the NHL is the way to go. I don’t think we should treat the people who aren’t responsible for the invasion any differently than before. Shutting people out of society for actions that are not their own is wrong. Treating people like second class citizens or shutting them out of society for what their home country did is comparable to when the United States put Japanese people in internment camps during world war 2. Although not as bad, it is still comparable. Sports shouldn’t be used to discriminate against anyone. Discriminating against Russian athletes for what Putin and the Russian government did is racist and wrong. If the individual is in support of what is going on then kick them out. Not letting athletes participate because they are from a particular country (in this case Russia) is racist. It’s discrimination. Banning Russian national and domestic teams from competing will hurt Russia financially and remove any power they have on the international sports stage. Banning athletes from participating in things such as the NHL does nothing to the Russian government. I think it could hurt the Russian more than it would the Russian government.

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Daily Recaps


Tournament previewDay 1Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 11

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USA Game Reviews


USA vs ChinaUSA vs CanadaUSA vs GermanyUSA vs Slovakia (Quarterfinals)

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