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By Jake Shoemaker

At last, the greatest hockey tournament in the world is here. This year, with incredible talent spread across most of the rosters, it appears the tournament is up for grabs. Although Sweden is without two of their top scorers in Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen, defense is what is going to separate the top teams from the rest, and Sweden has a stellar core that can defend and score in front of their world-class goaltender. I like the Russian firepower to excite the home crowd early on but I expect the defensive woes of Alex Ovechkin and the his host countrymates to eventually come back to bite them. Verdict: Sweden brings home the gold, U.S. upsets Canada to make gold medal game, Russia fails to win a medal, and Czech Republic uses it’s experience for a chance to play Canada for a medal.

Preliminary Round-Robin (group records in parentheses)

Group A:
Russia – (3-0-0)
Slovakia – (1-2-0)
Slovenia – (0-3-0)
United States – (2-0-1)

Group B:
Austria – (0-3-0)
Canada – (3-0-0)
Finland – (2-1-0)
Norway – (1-2-0)

Group C:
Czech Republic – (2-1-0)
Latvia – (0-0-3)
Sweden – (3-0-0)
Switzerland – (1-2-0)

Reseeded Knock-out Rounds (Predicted game scores in parentheses, winners in CAPS)

(Group D):
1) Canada
2) Sweden
3) Russia
4) United States
5) FINLAND vs. 12) Slovenia (4-0)
6) CZECH REPUBLIC vs. 11) Latvia (5-0)
7) SLOVAKIA vs. 10) Austria (4-1)
8) NORWAY vs. 9) Switzerland (2-1)

Group E:
1) CANADA vs. Norway (7-0)
2) SWEDEN vs. Slovakia (4-1)
3) Russia vs. CZECH REPUBLIC (5-4)
4) UNITED STATES vs. Finland (2-0)

Group F:
1) Canada vs. UNITED STATES (3-2)
2) SWEDEN vs. Czech Republic (3-1)

Group G:
Gold a medal game: United States vs. SWEDEN (3-1)
Bronze medal game: CANADA vs. Czech Republic (5-2)

Gold: Sweden
Silver: United States
Bronze: Canada
4th: Czech Republic

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