Happy Hearts and Hooves Day, everyone!
Make sure you spend some time with your Very Special Somepony today! Might I suggest doing this by watching Olympic Hockey with that Very Special Somepony?
But before you focus on today's games, take a look at the action you may have missed from yesterday.
Women's Hockey Results
Germany Blanks Japan 4-0
Viona Harrer stopped 30 shots en route to shutting out Japan. Franzisca Busch scored two goals, including an empty-netter to seal the game.
Russia Prevails over Sweden 3-1
The home team dominated from the jump, out-shooting Sweden 16-2 in the first period, and 31-16 for the game. Ekaterina Smolentseva was the top performer in this game, scoring a goal on five shots.
Men's Hockey Results
Russia Avoids a Red Scare Against Slovenia, Wins 5-2
Slovenia kept it close for the first two periods on the strength of two goals from Ziga Jeglic, finishing the first 40 minutes trailing 3-2 against the high-powered Russians. But Team Russia proved to be too much to handle, as Valeri Nichuskin scored to make the game 4-2, putting it out of reach for Slovenia permanently. Alexander Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist, and Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two helpers himself.
Canada Dispatches Norway 3-1
Norwegian goaltender Lars Haugen kept Team Norway in the game against the Canadians, stopping 35 of 38 shots. Team Canada managed to win despite stupidly not playing P.K. Subban, but getting offense from the blue line wasn't their problem, as Drew Doughty and Shea Weber each scored a goal.
Granlund Powers Finns over Team Austria 8-4
Finally! The Minnesota Wild players! Not only did you get to see a current Minnesota Wild player in Mikael Granlund, you got to see a future Wild in Thomas Vanek. And for those of you on the #VanekWatch, today wasn't exactly Vanek's game. He only registered one assist on one shot. On the other hand, his Islander teammate Michael Grabner impressed with a hat trick, but it wasn't nearly enough. This was a coming out party for Mikael Granlund, who made his Olympic debut and flourished, scoring two goals and an assist, while shooting a whopping 6 times. People may put all of this on the fact that he was on international ice, but an extra 15 feet of ice can't be THAT big of a difference. Hopefully, that willingness to shoot will carry over to the NHL, as he showed off his offensive potential yesterday morning.
Team USA demolishes Slovakia 7-1
The United States didn't need no stinkin' Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, who combined for 0 points and 0 shots. Ryan Suter ended up playing fewer than 20 minutes of ice for the first time since a junior game of his got cancelled after a meteor struck the arena (probably). 6 different American scored goals (Paul Stastny scored twice), as MERCA! chased Jaroslav Halak in the second period. Highlights for the Slovakians included the one time Tomas Tatar put a puck past Jonathan Quick, and when former Minnesota Wild Branko Radiojevic took the ice.
No Women's Matches for today, but there are four Men's games on the schedule. Take a look.
Team Czech Republic vs. Team Latvia
On paper, the Czechs are much better than the Latvians, but that was the case for Team Switzerland two days ago. The Latvians showed that they have the potential to not be the pushovers that their reputation suggests. Team Czech should win, but they can't sleep on the Latvians.
Team Canada vs. Team Austria
Both teams played yesterday, and Thomas Vanek and the Austrians will have a tall order against the loaded Canadians, despite Canada being charitable by leaving P.K. Subban on the bench.
Team Sweden vs. Team Switzerland
Sweden is a favorite to medal, and for good reason, as this is a team good enough to leave Jonas Brodin off the roster, and for that to be a defensible selection. However, Nino Niederreiter had a strong showing in the first game, registering four shots, and factoring on the only Swiss goal against Latvia.
Team Norway vs. Team Finland
Team Finland showed last game that they'll do just fine without Mikko Koivu, thank you very much. Reports out of Sochi suggest that Team Finland is contemplating permanently stripping Koivu's C. If Mikael Granlund and the Finns dispatched the Austrians with ease, then they should be more than enough for Team Norway.
Discuss the games below, please!