NBC Olympics staff selected three special performers from the enitre men’s tournament at the Olympics.
Eeli Tolvanen, Finland: The 18-year-old winger was the undisputed breakout star of the men’s tournament. Even though Finland was eliminated in the quarterfinals, Tolvanen’s tally of nine points still ranked second overall as he averaged nearly two points per game. He scored in his Olympic debut and also tallied two assists against eventual silver medalist Germany. He followed that up with two scores against Norway. Tolvanen paced his team past an energized South Korean team in the qualification playoffs, assisting in Finland’s opening three goals. After a sizzling Olympic performance, Tolvanen could be on his way to the NHL to help the Nashville Predators chase the Stanley Cup once again.
NBCOlympics.com: OAR defeat Germany to win hockey gold
Nikita Gusev, Olympic Athletes from Russia: The Vegas Golden Knights prospect tallied four goals and eight assists in just six games throughout the 2018 Winter Games. He also struck twice when it mattered most, helping OAR force OT in the gold-medal game. Trailing 3-2 in the final frame and playing shorthanded, Gusev was able to sneak a backhanded shot into the back of the net to knot the score with less than a minute remaining. Then, in the extra session, it was Gusev who made a beautiful cross-ice pass to set up the golden goal by Kirill Kaprizov.
NBCOlymipcs.com: Canada claim bronze with 6-4 over Czech Republic
Ryan Donato, United States: The 21-year-old Boston Bruins prospect was bright spot for Team USA despite the disappointing finish. The sniper lifted his team to a crucial preliminary-round victory over Slovakia, grabbing both goals in a 2-1 victory. He came back to haunt Slovakia again with two more scores in the qualification playoffs, and though the United States’ tournament came to an end in the quarterfinals against the Czech Republic, Donato notched one last goal in the 3-2 loss to finish with a team-leading five goals and six points. Donato, along with fellow collegiate athletes Troy Terry and Jordan Greenway, surprised many with their contributions on the ice. If management had known of their game-changing impact in advance, the American roster might have included more NCAA players.
As both hockey tournaments got set to kick off at the 2018 Winter Olympics, many weren’t sure what to expect. There was a lot of uncharted territory in PyeongChang: the presence of a unified Korean women’s hockey team for the first time ever and the absence of active NHL players for the first time since 1994.
Nevertheless, both competitions yielded plenty of memorable moments, in every sense imaginable—from spectacular individual performances to sweet, golden redemption. Here are the best of the best:
10. Chris Lee winds up on the wrong bench
Like any other sport, hockey players employ some gamesmanship when possible to give their team a leg up. For the Czech Republic’s Michal Jordan and Martin Erat, that meant guiding Canadian defenseman Chris Lee to the back of their own bench during the two teams’ preliminary-round matchup—leaving Canada a man down, if only for a few seconds.
9. Norway wins its first game since 1994
Norway hadn’t won a men’s hockey game at the Olympics in more than two decades, since the last time NHL players did not compete at the Games. Naturally, with the NHL absent from PyeongChang, the Norwegian squad pounced on the opportunity, riding goals from Tommy Kristiansen and Alexander Bonsaksen to a 2-1 overtime victory over Slovenia.
Read the rest of the Top 10 Moments by clicking here
PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of – Canadian defenceman Jocelyne Larocque says she got caught up in the emotion of Thursday’s devastating shootout loss to the United States in the Olympic women’s hockey final and regrets taking off her silver medal almost immediately after it was placed around her neck.
NBCOlympics.com: Gold at last: U.S. women beat rival Canada in epic shootout
In a statement Friday, Larocque apologized to the IOC, International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and her teammates and fans.
She said she meant no disrespect.
“In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me,” she said. “I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games.”
Click here to read the full story and watch highlights from the USA’s shootout win over Canada