Edmonton Oilers Olympic hopefuls Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle did not make the Canadian Olympic team, despite their invitation to the Olympic camp prior to the NHL season’s start. Oilers fans still had a chance to watch some of their Oilers compete for medals in Sochi. With the preliminary rounds finished up, here’s a look at how the Oilers Olympians have fared so far in the tournament.
Anton Belov: Russia
Anton Belov and his Russian teammates had home ice advantage in the Olympics. Belov scored the final goal in the team’s first game of the tournament, helping Russia defeat Slovenia 5-2. Russia lost to the United States in an epic shootout battle, falling 3-2. The USA won on the strength of TJ Oshie’s four shootout goals. The Russian team finished the preliminary round by beating Slovakia 1-0 in a shootout. The Russians must next go through the qualifying round if they hope to make it into the quarterfinals. They take on Norway as they continue their quest for a medal in Sochi.
Martin Marincin: Slovakia
Martin Marincin did not record any points in his Olympic debut, but the international experience can only be good for the Oilers’ rookie. The 22-year-old was a bit of a surprise choice by the Slovakians, but he held his own in Sochi. He played strong minutes for the Slovakians, and even saw some overtime against Russia in the last game of the preliminary round. He was lucky enough to have some guidance from Slovakian country man Zdeno Chara, who promised Oilers’ Coach Dallas Eakins that he would keep an eye on Marincin throughout the tournament.
Slovakia takes on the Czech Republic, and fellow Oiler Ales Hemsky, in the qualifying rounds on Tuesday.
Ales Hemsky: Czech Republic
Ales Hemsky joined a Czech team that had an average age of 30 years, the oldest team in the 2014 Olympics. Hemsky, who turned 30 in August, fit well into that mix. Hemsky saw limited ice time, playing, at most, 14 minutes when the Czech Republic beat Latvia 4-2. He assisted on Martin Erat’s goal in that same game.
The Czechs need to defeat the Slovakians in the qualifying round if they hope to make it into the quarterfinals.
Ladislav Smid: Czech Republic
Ladislav Smid may no longer be an Oiler, but he played enough years with the team that Edmonton fans are probably still keeping an eye on him in the Olympics. He was traded from the Oilers to the Calgary Flames back in November. Smid played at the Olympics with his old Oilers teammate Ales Hemsky and did not record a point in the preliminary round of the Olympics.
The Oilers players will continue their medal quests starting tomorrow, when they all head into the qualifying rounds. For Canadian fans, the Canadians finished third in the standings and were rewarded with a bye into the quarterfinals. The Canadians take on the winner of Switzerland/Latvia, the winner determined by Tuesday’s qualifying round, on Wednesday.
I have gained experience writing for the sports section of The Gateway, the campus newspaper for the University of Alberta and blogging for puckrant.com. I am completing my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with aspirations to try my hand at sports writing for a career.