2018 Men’s Olympic Hockey Schedule Released

The IIHF today released the schedule for the men’s tournament at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, with the tournament beginning on Wednesday, February 14, while both hosts Korea and defending champions Canada begin the tournament the following day.

The tournament will follow a different format from Sochi, being condensed to a five day preliminary round (rather than six), and expanding to four games per day, with the exception of opening day. The tournament begins with Russia vs. Slovakia and the United States vs. Slovenia from Group B, then Group C in the February 15 early games, before hosts Korea take on Czechia at the same time as Canada opening their Gold Medal defence against Switzerland, hoping to be the first team with three straight golds since 1992, and their fourth in five Olympiad.

Of course, the tournament dynamic will be much different, as for the first time since 1994 NHL players will not be present at the tournament, due to a controversial fight between the NHL, IOC and IIHF earlier in the year. While European teams like Russia, Sweden or Finland have an obvious advantage due to their professionals available to them from European leagues, Canada and the United States are poised to play spoiler with a blend of pro players in Europe and amateurs, and previously less dominant nations like Switzerland or Germany could surprise as well.

UPDATE (Dec. 5): As a result of Russia’s ban from the 2018 Olympics, approved athletes will be able to participate under the Olympic Flag as the “Olympic Athletes From Russia” team; the schedule below has been adjusted to reflect this change.

The tournament schedule is as follows:

canada1965-11 Canada
czech-11 Czechia
southkorea-11 Korea
switzerland-11 Switzerland
 O.A.F. Russia
slovakia-11 Slovakia
slovenia-11 Slovenia
usa-11 United States
finland-11 Finland
germany1920to33and49-11 Germany
norway-11 Norway
sweden-11 Sweden

Wednesday, February 14
 O.A.F. Russia vs. Slovakia slovakia-11
slovenia-11 Slovenia vs. United States usa-11

Thursday, February 15
finland-11 Finland vs. Germany germany1920to33and49-11
norway-11 Norway vs. Sweden sweden-11
czech-11 Czechia vs. Korea southkorea-11
canada1965-11 Canada vs. Switzerland switzerland-11

Friday, February 16
slovakia-11 Slovakia vs. United States usa-11
O.A.F. Russia vs. Slovenia slovenia-11
finland-11 Finland vs. Norway norway-11
germany1920to33and49-11 Germany vs. Sweden sweden-11

Saturday, February 17
canada1965-11 Canada vs. Czechia czech-11
southkorea-11 Korea vs. Switzerland switzerland-11
O.A.F. Russia vs. United States usa-11
slovakia-11 Slovakia vs. Slovenia slovenia-11

Sunday, February 18
germany1920to33and49-11 Germany vs. Norway norway-11
czech-11 Czechia vs. Switzerland switzerland-11
canada1965-11 Canada vs. Korea southkorea-11
finland-11 Finland vs. Sweden sweden-11

Tuesday, February 20
Qualifier – 5D vs. 12D
Qualifier – 6D vs. 11D
Qualifier – 7D vs. 10D
Qualifier – 8D vs. 9D

Wednesday, February 21
Quarterfinal – 1D vs. E4
Quarterfinal – 2D vs. E3
Quarterfinal – 3D vs. E2
Quarterfinal – 4D vs. E1

Friday, February 23
Semifinal – F1 vs. F4
Semifinal – F2 vs. F3

Saturday, February 24
Bronze Medal Game

Sunday, February 25
Gold Medal Game

The IHLC champion prior to the tournament will likely be determined by the end of December’s Channel One Cup in Russia, as defending champions Sweden will start the season on the Euro Hockey Tour circuit. However, this year’s EHT will differ from past years as both November’s Karjala Tournament and the Channel One Cup will feature fields of six teams, with Canada being invited to both tournaments, while Switzerland and Korea will play in each tournament once, respectively. There are many possibilities for where the IHLC will end up, but it is pretty certain the title will make its way through Pyeongchang come February!

Photo Credit: Sochi 2014 – IIHFHHOFIOC



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