Team Canada started its gold medal journey with a 8-0 win over Team Norway in Vancouver on February 16, 2010. How will they start in Sochi?
Canada’s 2014 Olympic bid gets underway against the same opponent Thursday at Noon. Some information on Team Norway, for those interested:
Group B Preliminary Round
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Team Norway Forwards
- Per-Age Skroder
(35 y/o, 5’11, 203lbs) A veteran of the Swedish league who is currently with Modo, Skroder is expected to center Norway’s two best offensive threats in Patrick Thoresen and Mats Zuccarello. A point a game player in the SEL at a time, he is slowing down with age but is a hardworking forward with a nose for the net. In 2009, he scored his biggest personal achievement during his career, winning the points scorer rankings in the Swedish league while playing with Niklas Sundström. The two formed a productive partnership in the latter years of the decade with Modo.
- Patrick Thoresen
(30 y/o 6’0, 201 lbs) Thoresen has appeared in 106 NHL games, receiving contracts from the Oilers and Flyers as an undrafted free agent. He is tough, plays an aggressive game and works hard all over the ice. He has good hands and is capable offensively as a scorer and playmaker. Thoresen is one of two players Canada will have to be conscious of as he always looks good in international tourneys and is a big point producer in the KHL for SKA St. Petersburg.
- Mats Zuccarello
(26 y/o) 5’7,161 lbs) The other is Mats Zuccarello, who plays for the New York Rangers, the seventh Norwegian to play in the NHL. Zuccarello is in the midst of a bit of a breakout season with 43 points in 58 games. Before the NHL he played for Modo Hockey in the Swedish Elitserien for two seasons. In 2010, he won the Guldhjälmen (Golden Helmet) awarded annually to the most valuable player in the Elitserien. He’s a magician who can do spectacular things with the puck. A good distributor with vision who can man the power play point. Lacking size and strength, he’s not a physical player.
- Anders Bastiansen
(33 y/o, 6’3, 205lbs) The veteran is an assistant captain of Farjestads in Sweden. Bastiansen is a big and strong center who plays a well-rounded and simple brand of hockey. Described as good defensively, on the penalty kill, and hard to handle for opposing defenseman in physical battles, but not a good skater.
- Mads Hansen
(35 y/o, 6’1, 195lbs) Assistant captain of the 2010 Norwegian Olympic team, Hansen is a veteran of the Norwegian league who spent one season with Brynas of the SHL. Described as a two-way player with good work ethic and leadership skills. Defensively sound and often used in shorthanded situations.
- Kristian Forsberg
(27 y/o, 6’0, 207lbs) Plays for Modo of the SEL. A forward who can play as a center and in the right wing. A good skater with a good shot. Described as defensively responsible.
- Ken Andre Olimb
(25 y/o, 5’10, 176lbs) A small and offensive forward, Olimb is a reliable point scorer in the DEL.
- Mathis Olimb
(28 y/o, 5’10, 183lbs) Came over from Norway to play for the London Knights and Sarnia Sting of the OHL in 2005-06, compiling 33 points in 57 games. After two seasons in the DEL, he returned to play for Rockford in the AHL after receiving a one-year contract from the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. Signed with Frolunda in Sweden after the AHL season, where he remains. Described as a slick and offensively-skilled forward.
- Marius Holtet
(29 y/o, 6’1, 212lbs) A second round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2002 who spent three seasons in the AHL. A veteran of Farjestad in the SEL, Holtet is described as a hard working winger who plays a gritty, physical game. Excels on the penalty kill.
- Mats Rosseli Olsen
(22 y/o, 5’11, 183lbs) Plays for Frolunda in Sweden. Olsen has good hands and plenty of creativity. Doesn’t mind going into heavy traffic despite his relatively small stature, but isn’t a physical or aggressive player. Needs to improve his defensive game. Can get pushed around due to his size, so he must become stronger on the puck as well.
- Martin Roymark
(27 y/o, 6’0, 190lbs) Plays for Farjestad of the SHL, Roymark is described as a quick-skated forward who works hard both offensively and defensively. Not particularly physical or offensively productive.
- Robin Dahlstrom
(26 y/o, 6’0, 207lbs) – Depth winger for Orebro of the Swedish league.
- Sondre Olden
(21 y/o, 6’4, 194lbs) A former Maple Leafs draft pick in the third round of the 2010 draft, his selection cost the Leafs a third round draft selection in 2012 as they moved a later pick to acquire him. Olden came over via the import draft for one season with the Erie Otters before returning to Norway. A lanky and offensively skilled forward who has been a productive player in the Norwegian league, thriving on the powerplay. Knocked for consistency issues and didn’t seem to be putting together the tools at his disposal in time to receive a contract.
- Morten Ask
(33 y/o, 6’1, 185lbs) – An injury kept him out of the 2010 Olympic tournament in Vancouver. Spent two seasons overseas in the ECHL before returning to Norway, as well as a few seasons with Djugarden of the SHL and EV Duisburg of the DEL (German league). Ask puts up big numbers in the Norwegian League. A big and physical center.
Team Norway Defencemen
- Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
(29 y/o, 6’2, 209lbs) Drafted in round three by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, Tollefsen leads the Norwegian roster in NHL experience with 163 games played (Columbus/Philadelphia). A big defenceman, Tollefsen is known for his toughness. He likes to play with an aggressive style, is a hard hitter and a force in front of his own net. Tollefsen isn’t skilled with the puck and prefers to play a simple game. After playing in the Norwegian league as a 16-year-old, he was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets and made his NHL debut during the 2005-06 season. However, his career in North America was plagued by injuries and Tollefsen returned to Europe in 2010.
- Mats Trygg
(37 y/o, 5’10, 187lbs) The oldest member of Team Norway, he served assistant captain of the 2010 Norwegian Olympic team. A point-producing defenceman in the SEL and DEL throughout his career, he is now playing out his career in the Norwegian League.
- Alexander Bonsaksen
(27 y/o, 5’11, 183) Returned to Norway this season after several years in the SHL. An all-around defenseman with a good passing game and skating. Plays as simply as possible.
- Jonas Holos
(26 y/o, 5’11, 203) An all-around defenseman with a lot of achievements from national leagues; spent several years with Farjestad and is now with Lokomotiv of the KHL. Holos moves and skates well and is described as physically strong.
- Henrik Solberg
(26 y/o, 6’3, 220lbs) Henrik Solberg currently plays with the Stavanger Oilers of the Norwegian GET-ligaen. Solberg has participated at the 2010 IIHF World Championship, the 2012 IIHF World Championship and the 2013 IIHF World Championship as a member of the Norway men’s national ice hockey team..
- Henrik Odegaard
(26 y/o, 5’11, 187lbs) Played one game with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL this season, but has spent the majority of his season with the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League.
- Daniel Sorvik
(23 y/o, 6’0, 183lbs) A point-producing defenceman for Vålerenga IF of the Norwegian league.
Team Norway Goalies
- Lars Haugen
(26 y/o, 6ft, 183lbs) – Expected starter, Haugen is currently playing for HC Dinamo Minsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), where he has posted a .910 SV% and 2.67 GAA in 23 games.
- Lars Volden
(21 y/o, 6’3, 201lbs) Drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft by the Boston Bruins, Volden is a big goalie who plays a calm butterfly style. Described as having quick feet and agility, but seen as having a weak mental game by Ulf Andersson of Elite Prospects.
- Steffen Soberg
(20, y/o 5’11, 176lbs)The Washington Capitals drafted him in the 4th round, #117 overall in 2011. A smallish netminder, Søberg compensates his lack of size with quickness and agility. Owns a quick glove hand.
- Martin St. Louis and Matt Duchene are expected to alternate in and out of the lineup as the team’s 13th forward. The “extras” on defence, as of the start of the tournament, include P.K. Subban and Dan Hamhuis, only one of which is likely to play Thursday.
- Jeff Carter will fill the role of shooter/pure scorer, in Stamkos’ stead, on the Crosby-Kunitz line based on the practice units. He’ll certainly have a chance there to make an impact in his first Olympics.
- John Tavares has been practising on the top powerplay unit alongside Sidney Crosby. Mike Babcock appeared to be considering him in Marleau’s place at five on five, next to the NHL’s scoringest duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but he returned to a line with Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Benn on Wednesday.
- Patrick Sharp played the point of the Canada powerplay next to Chicago teammate Duncan Keith in practise. Those two often man the point together in Chicago for their PPs.
- Carey Price will get the start vs. Norway, Roberto Luongo will go on Friday vs. Austria. It won’t take much to stir a controversy in the Canada net. Pretty much one goal against will do it from either of these opponents.