OLYMPICS ROUNDUP – QUALIFICATION GAMES GET UNDERWAY TONIGHT

Noah Welch and Team USA look to advance at the 2018 Winter Olympics when they face off with Slovakia Monday night.

Now the fun begins.

The second round of the men’s ice hockey tournament at the Winter Olympics gets underway this evening, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The qualification round features the bottom eight finishers from the opening round of play battling it out to make it to the quarterfinals. The first place teams from group play (Sweden, Czech Republic and Olympic Athletes from Russia), as well as the top second place finisher (Canada), all receive byes into the third round of play.

The United States and Slovakia, who finished with identical 1-2-0 marks in the first round, will face off in the first game of qualification on Monday night at 10:10pm Eastern Time. The Americans downed Slovakia by a 2-1 score earlier in the tourney.

The full schedule for the qualification and quarterfinals rounds is:

OLYMPIC MEN’S ICE HOCKEY QUALIFICATION ROUND SCHEDULE

DATE TIME TEAM 1 TEAM 2
Monday, February 19 10:10pm USA – 5 Slovakia – 1
Tuesday, February 20 2:40am Slovenia – 1 Norway – 2 (OT)
Tuesday, February 20 7:10am Finland Korea
Tuesday, February 20 7:10am Switzerland Germany

OLYMPIC MEN’S ICE HOCKEY QUARTERFINALS SCHEDULE

DATE TIME TEAM 1 TEAM 2
Tuesday, February 20 10:10pm Czech Republic USA
Wednesday, February 21 2:40am OAR Norway
Wednesday, February 21 7:10am Canada TBD
Wednesday, February 21 7:10am Sweden TBD

ALUMNI UPDATE

Nine former and one current Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins players are competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Their stats through Group Play:

CANADA
Andrew Ebbett – 2gp, 0-1-1
Chris Lee – 3gp, 0-3-3
Christian Thomas, 3gp, 1-0-1

CZECH REPUBLIC
Ondrej Nemec – 3gp, 0-0-0

GERMANY
Matthias Plachta – 3gp, 0-0-0

SOUTH KOREA
Bryan Young – 3gp, 0-0-0

NORWAY
Patrick Thoresen – 3gp, 1-0-1

SLOVAKIA
Thomas Surovy – 3gp, 0-1-1

USA
Chad Kolarik – 2gp, 0-0-0
Noah Welch – 3gp, 0-0-0

PENGUINS TIES IN PAST OLYMPIC GAMES

Konstantin Koltsov represented Belarus at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

When Team Canada hits the ice against Switzerland on Thursday morning, Christian Thomas will become the first active member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to take part in the Winter Olympic Games.

But he’s far from the first player with ties to the team to represent his country at the tournament.

One-time Penguins have suited up for their national teams in each of the past three Olympics. Here’s a quick look at those past Pens and their performances.

2006 – TURIN, ITALY

Tomas Surovy – Slovakia
A member of the Penguins from 2001-2006, Surovy made his first (but not his last) Olympic appearance for Slovakia at the 2006 Games. He chipped in with one assist during group play, helping his country to a perfect 5-0 mark. The Slovaks’ quarterfinal meeting with the Czech Republic resulted in a 3-1 loss, leading to a fifth place finish for Surovy and his countrymen.

2010 – VANCOUVER, CANADA

Marc-Andre Fleury – Canada
Fleury spent the entire 2004-05 campaign with Wilkes-Barre, as well as parts of two other regular seasons (2005-06, 2007-08). He didn’t see any action in the tournament, serving as Team Canada’s emergency netminder behind Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo, but still laid claim to a gold medal.

Ryan Whitney won a silve medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Ryan Malone , Brooks Orpik, Ryan Whitney – United States
Malone made his pro debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, outing up in three games at the end of the 2002-03 season. He appeared in all six games with the Silver Medal squad in Vancouver, posting three goals and two assists.

Orpik appeared in 152 regular season games with the Pens in parts of three seasons, and was a solid defensive presence for the Americans in 2010. He went scoreless in the six games, but finished plus-1 for the tournament.

Whitney spent the entire 2004-05 season, and shorts stints in two others, with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, before representing his country at the Olympics. He went scoreless during the tournament.

Miroslav Satan – Slovakia
Satan spent 10 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late in the 2008-09 season, posting nine points (3+6) for the club. He posted a goal and an assist in five games during the 2010 tournament – his fourth Olympics appearance – as Slovakia finished fourth overall.

Konstantin Koltsov – Belarus
Koltsov had three stints with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06), posting 46 points (16+30) in 86 games. He picked up two assists in Belarus’ opening game, a 5-3 win over Germany, but went scoreless in the three ensuing match, as his country finished ninth out of 12 teams.  This was Koltsov’s second trip to the Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City).

Patrick Thoresen – Norway
Thoresen appeared in five games with the Penguins during the 2006-07 season, recording six points (1+5) on assignment from the Edmonton Oilers. He picked up three assists in a 5-4 OT loss to the Swiss, and notched another two helpers in a 4-3 loss to Slovakia in the qualification round.

Sven Butenschon – Germany
Butenschon spent two seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1999-01) posting 75 points (26+49) from the team’s blueline. The Germans dropped all four games they played in the tournament, and Butenschon recorded two penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.

2014 – SOCHI, RUSSIA

Olli Maatta – Finland
Maatta made his pro debut with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, suiting up in three postseason games in 2013. The second-youngest member of Team Finland posted five points (3+2) in six games, including a goal in the bronze medal game against the United States.

Brooks Orpik – United States
Orpik helped the US to a perfect record (3-0-0) in group play, and advanced to the medal round with a 5-2 win over the Czechs. The Americans fell in a hard-fought 1-0 decision to Canada in the semifinals, then dropped a 5-0 decision to the Finns.

Michal Rozsival – Czech Republic
Rozsival appeared in 29 games with the Penguins in 2000-01, posting 16 points (8+8). He went scoreless in four games with the Czechs in 2014, who placed sixth out of 12 teams.

Tomas Surovy – Slovakia
Slovakia suffered through group play, posting an 0-2-1 mark before falling to the Czech Republic, 5-3, in qualification play. Surovy netted his lone Olympic goal in that game.

Patrick Thoresen – Norway
Thoresen picked up the lone goal for his country in a 3-1 loss to Canada, and notched an assist in a 3-1 loss to Austria. The Norwegians finished 12th overall in the tournament.

* = former Penguins coaches Dan Bylsma and Todd Richards were behind the bench for Team USA (Bylsma – head coach; Richards – assistant coach)

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FORMER PENGUIN TOMAS SUROVY HEADED TO OLYMPICS


Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Tomas Surovy has been named to the roster for Team Slovakia at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

A fourth round selection in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Surovy spent parts of five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2001-06), appearing in 239 regular season games with the club.  The left wing currently ranks second on the Penguins’ all-time lists in goals (89) and points (187); is tied for second in game-winning goals (14); and is fourth in power play goals (27).

Surovy appeared in 126 gams with the Pittsburgh Penguins between 2002-2006, posting 59 points (27+32) and 71 penalty minutes.  He has been playing professionally in Europe since the start of the 2006-07 season, and currently suits up for his hometown team, Banská Bystrica HC 05, in the Slovakian Extraleague.

Surovy has previously represented Slovakia at the 2006 Turin and 2014 Sochi Games, recording two points (1+1) in 10 Olympic contests.  He is the seventh former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins skater to be named to his national team for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

UNITED STATES:  Chad Kolarik (C – 2012-13); Noah Welch (D – 2005-07)

CANADA:  Andrew Ebbett (C – 2013-15); Chris Lee (D – 2009-10)

CZECH REPUBLIC:  Ondrej Nemec (D – 2003-04)

KOREA:  Bryan Young (D – 2006-07)

Current Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Christian Thomas will also be representing Canada in PyeongChang.

The Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament begins on Wednesday, February 14 with preliminary round play, and runs through the gold medal game on February 25.

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