The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Semifinals are upon us, and we are one step closer to the medal round. Both the United States and Canada were upset in the Quarterfinals by Slovakia and Sweden respectively, and will head home without a medal. The Russian Olympic Committee, who captured the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics, defeated Denmark 3-1, and Finland easily took care of Switzerland by a score of 5-1.
The United States had a lead in their matchup vs. Slovakia, and played it cautiously in the third period. There were blown opportunities on the power play, including a 5-on-3, and a goal against in the final minute of regulation while Slovakia’s net was empty, scored by former Ranger Marek Hrivík, sent the game to overtime.
Things remained tied after overtime, and Slovakia advanced via a shootout win. Matty Beniers, the No. 2 overall pick from the 2021 draft and one of the United States’ best players in overtime, inexplicably was not one of the five shooters in a move that drew considerable criticism.
Canada played a tight game with Sweden, but allowed a goal at the midway point of the period to Lucas Wallmark, and an empty-netter with minutes remaining to Anton Lander. Lars Johansson stopped all 22 shots faced, and backstopped Sweden into the Semifinals.
ROC continued to show the impact of having professional talent on the roster, and got off to a 1-0 lead in the first period after Vadim Shipachyov opened the scoring on a goal assisted by Nikita Gusev. Frans Nielsen tied the game for Denmark in the second, but Nikita Nesterov put ROC back on top with another goal assisted by Gusev. The third goal for ROC was scored by disgraced and exiled former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, and that would be the last goal scored in the game.
Finland got off to a fast start vs. Switzerland with Miro Aaltonen and Mikko Lehtonen scoring within minutes of each other in the first period. Marko Anttila quickly made it 3-0 minutes into the second period, and Switzerland responded by pulling Reto Berra for Leonardo Genoni. Switzerland ultimately scored on a power play to make it 3-1, but that would be the only offense they generated. Switzerland went into desperation mode and pulled their goalie with under five minutes to go, and Iiro Pakarinen made it 4-1 at 15:28 of the period, and Teemu Hartikainen made it 5-1 just over a minute later.
The Semifinals are scheduled to air live on USA Network, but are also available for viewing via Peacock, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app. If you are also someone who likes to wager (if so, please do responsibly) you can use DraftKings Sportsbook depending on where you live.
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Finland vs. Slovakia | 11:10 pm EST
Friday, February 18, 2022
ROC vs. Sweden | 8:10 am EST
Here’s a quick overview of former Rangers, and the time they spent at the NHL level on Broadway.
Slovakia: Marek Hrivík (2015-2017)
ROC: Artem Anisimov (2008-2012)
Sweden: Carl Klingberg (2014-15), and Magnus Hellberg (2015-17)
Enjoy the Semifinals!