International Ice Hockey Federation

Does it seem strange...?

Does it seem strange...?

Ten unusual facts about men’s tourney

Published 14.02.2014 02:49 GMT+4 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Does it seem strange...?
Alexander Syomin (right) came as a replacement player and will now play on the top line with Alexander Ovechkin (left) and Yevgeni Malkin. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Olympic hockey is full of surprises. We all know the big ones, like the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980 or Belarus beating Sweden in the 2002 quarter-finals.

But the full dimensions of every Olympic surprise aren’t always immediately apparent. So, with the men’s tournament getting underway, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Olympic oddities that may have escaped you.

Does it seem strange...

  • That the United States has not defeated another “Big Seven” nation (Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, or Sweden) in Olympic play outside North America since beating Finland 4-1 on February 13, 1992 in Albertville, France? (This held true, of course, until Thursday's 7-1 win over Slovakia.)


  • That Alexander Syomin wasn’t even named to Team Russia on January 7, but now, after being chosen to replace injured Dynamo Moscow forward Sergei Soin, the mercurial Carolina Hurricanes winger will play on the top line with Yevgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin?


  • That when Finland’s Aleksander Barkov was born on September 2, 1995, his Sochi linemate Teemu Selanne had already scored 123 NHL goals with the Winnipeg Jets and played in the World Juniors, World Championship, Canada Cup and Olympics?


  • That Slovenia, by debuting in Sochi, will have played in more Olympic hockey tournaments than Denmark, which will appear in its 12th straight IIHF World Championship in May in Belarus and has six current NHLers to Slovenia’s one?


  • That only two of the 36 goalies registered for these Olympics have won a Stanley Cup as a starter, Finland’s Antti Niemi (2010, Chicago Blackhawks) and the U.S.’s Jonathan Quick (2012, Los Angeles Kings)?


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  • That the last Canadian player to score an Olympic goal against Finland was current Canada GM Steve Yzerman? (He potted the 2-1 winner in the 2002 quarter-final in Salt Lake City. Finland beat Canada 2-0 in 2006 in Turin, and the two nations didn’t meet in 2010 in Vancouver.)


  • That two players selected in the first round of the 1990 NHL draft (Jaromir Jagr and Petr Nedved) will take part in Sochi and only one from the 1999 first round will (Daniel Sedin)?


  • That only two players here in Sochi have scored the game-winning goal in an IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game, Canada’s Jonathan Toews (2007) and the U.S.’s John Carlson (2010)?


  • That prior to these Olympics, France is tied with Canada for the career lead in Olympic shootout wins (2) dating back to 1992?


  • That Slovakia’s men’s team, which has a shot at medaling in Sochi, is ranked the same in the IIHF World Ranking (eighth) as its women’s team, which isn’t even competing in Sochi?


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