This game features two clubs that weren’t expected to be in the top 8, but one of them will be. The winner will face Sweden in the quarterfinals.
AUSTRIA vs SLOVENIA
Tuesday Feb 18th, 3:00 AM EST
Here is how the teams match up:
GOALTENDING: In 4 periods, Mathias Lange stopped 49 of 50 shots he faced. He played the last game (a win against Norway) in place of Bernhark Starkbaum who played the two more difficult games but was shelled. It will be interesting to see which goalie starts against Slovenia. Robert Kristian has carried the load for the most part, starting 2 of the 3 games in the preliminary round and going 1-1 with a .905 SP.
DEFENSE: Thomas Pock is leading the way for the Austrians, as the former NHLer has played just over 17 minutes a game, so they are comfortable playing all of their blue liners. Mitja Robar leads all Slovenian defensemen at just over 20 minutes per game.
FORWARDS: Michael Grabner leads all goal scorers in the tournament, with 5 of his team’s 7 goals. Austria, thanks to Grabner, have the 6th most goals in the tournament. They need more from his linemate Thomas Vanek in the elimination rounds. Anze Kopitar has a goal and an assist, while Ziga Jeglic leads the way with two goals and an assist.
PREDICTION: The top line of Austria with Grabner, Vanek and Michael Raffl might be too much for the Slovenians and should go on to the next round.