PHOTO CREDIT: USA Today Sports

Olympic Hockey Preview: Switzerland vs Latvia

The lone matchup in the qualifying round featuring two teams who have met already at this tournament.  The teams played a scoreless game until Switzerland won with 7 seconds left on the clock for the win.  The winner of this game faces Canada in the quarterfinals.

 

SWITZERLAND vs LATVIA

Tuesday Feb 18th, 12:00 NOON EST

CBC

Here is how the teams match up:

GOALTENDING: Jonas Hiller has yet to allow a goal in this tournament, including the 1-0 shutout of Latvia in the preliminary round.  Edgars Masalskis faced 78 shots in his 2 games, stopping 73 of them  He shut out the Swiss through 59 minutes and 53 seconds in their previous meeting.

EDGE:  SWITZERLAND by a hair.

 

DEFENSE:  The Swiss have the definite edge in terms of NHL talent, with the likes of Mark Streit, Yannick Weber, Roman Josi  and Raphael Diaz. Oscars Bartulis and Arturs Kulda both have NHL experience and are leading the club, with support from former long time NHLer Sandis Ozolinsh.

PHOTO CREDIT: USA Today Sports

EDGE:  SWITZERLAND

 

FORWARDS: Switzerland has relied on defense more than scoring, with just 2 goals in the tournament so far.  Nino Niederreiter has yet to make an impact, as has fellow NHLer Damien Brunner.  Latvia has 5 goals, two of them from Janis Sprukts, who has just 3 shots on goal.

EDGE:  EVEN

 

PREDICTION:  It is hard to beat a team twice in the same event, but the Swiss are just too stingy, and Niederreiter has a history of showing up for big games in a Swiss uniform.  Hiller has been impenetrable.  Switzerland should win, however, don’t expect more than a couple of goals.  Bet the under.

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Tags: Edgars Masalskis Game Preview Jonas Hiller Latvia Olympic Hockey Switzerland

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