One bright spot for the Canadian team has been the play of former NHL forward Rene Bourque, who converted one of his team’s two man-advantage goals in the opening period and has three goals through his first two games.
Canada’s path to the quarterfinals at the Olympic men’s hockey tournament hit a bump – but the Canadians are still all but assured an automatic berth as they wrap up Group A action Sunday against host South Korea. Canada’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Czech Republic on Saturday virtually guarantees the Czechs a spot in the quarters as the group leaders, but the Canadians can lock up a spot as one of the two best second-place teams with a strong effort Sunday.
Pyeongchang Olympic Odds and Betting Analysis
Make no mistake – the host team is being given virtually no chance of even keeping this one close. And while the South Koreans managed to be competitive in a surprising 2-1 loss to the Czechs in their tournament opener, they were thoroughly drubbed in Saturday’s 8-0 loss to Switzerland. With the Canadians seeking a major bounceback from their disappointing loss, this one should be decided early.
If Canadian head coach Willie Desjardins was disappointed at his team’s lack of consistency in its tournament-opening 5-1 rout of the Swiss, he certainly didn’t come away pleased at how his team fared against the Czechs. After scoring a pair of power-play goals in the first period, Team Canada couldn’t do anything against Czech goalie Pavel Francouz, who stopped 31 shots in regulation and overtime and four of five shootout attempts.
Former NHL forward Derek Roy was virtually invisible against the Czechs after recording three assists in the opener against Switzerland; he took a pair of minor penalties and misfired on his shootout attempt.
Team South Korea
Matt Dalton was the hero for the South Koreans in the narrow loss to the Czechs, stopping 38 of 40 shots to single-handedly keep his team in the game even though it was outshot by more than a 2-to-1 margin. But his good run came to a crashing halt against the dominant Swiss, who scored five goals on 27 shots against Dalton – sending him to the bench in favor of Sungje Park, who surrendered two goals on the seven shots he faced.
If anyone is going to break the goose-egg against the overwhelmingly favored Canadians, it could very well be forward Brock Radunske; the 34-year-old Kitchener, Ontario native was a third-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2002, and leads South Korea with eight shots on goal through two games. He also assisted on his team’s historic goal against the Czechs, scored by Minho Cho just past the 7 ½-minute mark of the opening period.
Canada vs. South Korea Men’s Olympic Hockey Prediction
Canada 10, South Korea 0