Friday, February 23, 2018
Olympic Pool Update (Day 8, Feb 23)
It was semifinal Friday in PyeongChang this morning and it all kicked off with the Czech Republic and Russia going toe-to-toe for a spot in the gold medal game and the scrappy Czechs were holding their own for the first half of the game, but midway through the 2nd period, the Russians got on the board and then locked it down. Nikita Gusev opened the scoring, almost at the 28-minute mark of the middle frame, and that goal would stand up to be the winner, making it back-to-back games for him to score the winner and his point total has just shot through the roof.
Gusev helped guide Neil up to the top of the standings after this one and with seven players on his roster for the medal games coming up, things were certainly looking up for his chances at the overall money.
In the second semifinal, the German giant-killing machine, fresh off dispatching the Swedes, were certainly riding a high and they were able to knock of Canada as well this morning, sending the Canadians to the bronze medal game and propel themselves to a gold medal date with the Russians on Sunday afternoon (in Korea) and Saturday night for us here in Alberta.
Penalties were costly to Canada, as the Germans scored a power play goals and Gilbert Brule, shortly after scoring a power play marker of his own, was booted from the game after a high and dangerous hit in the 2nd period, leaving the Canadians a man short for the rest of the game. The Germans rode some good highs and then held on for dear life in the 3rd period, bending, but not breaking, winning 4-3 in the end.
Unfortunately, with Germany only having three players taken in the draft, there wasn't a whole lot of points collected in this game, only assists to David Wolf and Marcel Goc, so no bonus points here.
The game did tighten up the race a little bit, as both Chris and Don each got a point in this game and Neil did not, so Neil leads with 34 points, while Chris and Don each have 33 points. Steve is still in the mix, especially with seven players of his own, at 31 points. Only two more games left and with these same four teams, one tomorrow morning and the other tomorrow night.