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Ice hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympics – Men's tournament

The men's ice hockey tournament at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, was the 19th Olympic Championship. The Czech Republic, which emerged from the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, won its first gold medal, becoming only the nation to win Olympic ice hockey gold. The tournament, held from February 7 to February 22, was played at the Big Hat and Aqua Wing arenas.

1998 Winter Olympics
Men's Ice Hockey
Ice hockey pictogram.svg
Tournament details
Host country Japan
Dates7–22 February
Teams14
Venue(s)Big Hat, Aqua Wing Arena (in 1 host city)
Final positions
Champions Gold medal blank.svg Czech Republic (1st title)
Runner-up Silver medal blank.svg Russia
Third place Bronze medal blank.svg Finland
Fourth place Canada
Tournament statistics
Matches played35
Goals scored210 (6 per match)
Scoring leader(s)Finland Teemu Selänne
(10 points)
1994
2002

This was the first Olympics in which the National Hockey League (NHL) took a break (17 days, from February 8 to February 24[1]) allowing national teams to be constructed using the best possible talent from each country. The 1998 Olympic tournament therefore came to be known as the "Tournament of the Century". Unlike previous Olympics where athletes could choose five-star hotel accommodations, NHL players were required to stay in the Olympic Village like other athletes.

The Canadian team, despite a strong start in the round robin, failed to play well after losing their semifinal match against the Czech Republic, and played a lackluster bronze medal game, disappointing Canadians who wished for Wayne Gretzky to get an Olympic medal. In the final match, the Czech Republic shut-out Russia to win the first gold medal in its history.

The format of the men's tournament was criticized because the National Hockey League (NHL) clubs would not release their players for the preliminary round. This severely hampered the campaigns of Germany and Slovakia, both of whom failed to qualify for the final group stage. Also the final group stage was criticized as being meaningless since all of the teams qualified for the quarter-finals. The format was eventually changed for the 2006 tournament in an effort to address these criticisms.

Contents

QualificationEdit

Preliminary roundEdit

Group AEdit

Top team (shaded) advanced to the first round.

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
  Kazakhstan 3 2 0 1 14 11 +3 5
  Slovakia 3 1 1 1 9 9 0 3
  Italy 3 1 2 0 11 11 0 2
  Austria 3 0 1 2 9 12 −3 2

All times are local (UTC+9).

7 February 1998
16:00
Italy  3–5
(3–1, 0–1, 0–3)
  KazakhstanThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,634
7 February 1998
16:00
Austria  2–2
(1–0, 1–2, 0–0)
  SlovakiaAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 4,315
8 February 1998
14:00
Austria  5–5
(2–2, 2–1, 1–2)
  KazakhstanThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,410
8 February 1998
18:00
Slovakia  4–3
(1–2, 3–1, 0–0)
  ItalyThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,620
10 February 1998
14:00
Slovakia  3–4
(1–1, 1–0, 1–3)
  KazakhstanAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,659
10 February 1998
18:00
Italy  5–2
(2–0, 2–0, 1–2)
  AustriaThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,473

Group BEdit

Top team (shaded) advanced to the first round.

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
  Belarus 3 2 0 1 14 4 +10 5
  Germany 3 2 1 0 7 9 −2 4
  France 3 1 2 0 5 8 −3 2
  Japan 3 0 2 1 5 10 −5 1

All times are local (UTC+9).

7 February 1998France  0–4
(0–1, 0–1, 0–2)
  BelarusAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,419
7 February 1998Germany  3–1
(0–0, 1–0, 2–1)
  JapanThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,861
9 February 1998Germany  2–8
(0–2, 2–3, 0–3)
  BelarusThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,063
9 February 1998Japan  2–5
(2–1, 0–1, 0–3)
  FranceThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,930
10 February 1998Japan  2–2
(1–1, 1–1, 0–0)
  BelarusThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,659
10 February 1998France  0–2
(0–0, 0–1, 0–1)
  GermanyAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,916

Consolation roundEdit

13th place matchEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

12 February 1998Japan  4 – 3 (SO)
(1–2, 1–0, 1–1, 0–0, 1–0)
  AustriaThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,495

11th place matchEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

12 February 1998France  5–1
(1–0, 0–0, 4–1)
  ItalyThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,854

9th place matchEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

12 February 1998Germany  4–2
(0–1, 1–1, 3–0)
  SlovakiaThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,670

First roundEdit

Group CEdit

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
  Russia 3 3 0 0 15 6 +9 6
  Czech Republic 3 2 1 0 12 4 +8 4
  Finland 3 1 2 0 11 9 +2 2
  Kazakhstan 3 0 3 0 6 25 −19 0

All times are local (UTC+9).

13 February 1998
14:45
Czech Republic  3–0
(0–0, 1–0, 2–0)
  FinlandAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 5,050
13 February 1998
18:45
Russia  9–2
(2–1, 5–0, 2–1)
  KazakhstanAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,752
15 February 1998
13:45
Russia  4–3
(1–2, 2–1, 1–0)
  FinlandThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,894
15 February 1998
18:45
Czech Republic  8–2
(1–0, 3–2, 4–0)
  KazakhstanThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,975
16 February 1998
15:45
Finland  8–2
(3–1, 1–0, 4–1)
  KazakhstanAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 5,544
16 February 1998
18:45
Czech Republic  1–2
(0–0, 1–0, 0–2)
  RussiaThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,847

Group DEdit

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts
  Canada 3 3 0 0 12 3 +9 6
  Sweden 3 2 1 0 11 7 +4 4
  United States 3 1 2 0 8 10 −2 2
  Belarus 3 0 3 0 4 15 −11 0

All times are local (UTC+9).

13 February 1998
14:45
Sweden  4–2
(1–2, 2–0, 1–0)
  United StatesThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,985
13 February 1998
18:45
Canada  5–0
(2–0, 2–0, 1–0)
  BelarusThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,960
14 February 1998
14:45
United States  5–2
(2–1, 1–0, 2–1)
  BelarusThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,975
14 February 1998
18:45
Sweden  2–3
(1–0, 0–3, 1–0)
  CanadaThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,945
16 February 1998
13:45
Canada  4–1
(1–0, 2–0, 1–1)
  United StatesThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 10,076
16 February 1998
18:45
Sweden  5–2
(2–0, 1–1, 2–1)
  BelarusAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 4,235

Final roundEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Gold medal game
                           
  C1   Russia 4  
D4   Belarus 1  
  C1   Russia 7  
  C3   Finland 4  
D2   Sweden 1
  C3   Finland 2  
    C1   Russia 0
  C2   Czech Republic  1
  D1   Canada 4  
C4   Kazakhstan 1  
  D1   Canada 1 Bronze medal game
  C2   Czech Republic  2  
C2   Czech Republic  4 D1   Canada 2
  D3   United States 1   C3   Finland 3

Quarter-finalsEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

18 February 1998
14:45
Czech Republic  4–1
(0–1, 3–0, 1–0)
  United StatesThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,822
18 February 1998
14:45
Russia  4–1
(1–0, 1–0, 2–1)
  BelarusAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 4,628
18 February 1998
18:45
Canada  4–1
(2–1, 2–0, 0–0)
  KazakhstanThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,602
18 February 1998
18:45
Sweden  1–2
(0–0, 0–0, 1–2)
  FinlandAqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 5,044

Semi-finalsEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

20 February 1998
14:45
Canada  1–2 SO
(0–0, 0–0, 1–1, 0–0)
(SO: 0–1)
  Czech RepublicThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,854
20 February 1998
18:45
Russia  7–4
(2–0, 2–3, 3–1)
  FinlandThe Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,640

Bronze medal gameEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

21 February 1998
15:15
Canada  2–3
(1–2, 1–0, 0–1)
  Finland  The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,875

Gold medal gameEdit

All times are local (UTC+9).

22 February 1998
13:45
  Russia  0–1
(0–0, 0–0, 0–1)
  Czech Republic  The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 10,010

Leading scorersEdit

Rank Player GP G A Pts PIM
1   Teemu Selänne (FIN) 5 4 6 10 8
2   Saku Koivu (FIN) 6 2 8 10 4
3   Pavel Bure (RUS) 6 9 0 9 2
4   Aleksandr Koreshkov (KAZ) 7 3 6 9 2
5   Philippe Bozon (FRA) 4 5 2 7 4
6   Konstantin Shafranov (KAZ) 7 4 3 7 6
7   Dominic Lavoie (AUT) 4 5 1 6 8
8   Jere Lehtinen (FIN) 6 4 2 6 2
9   Alexei Yashin (RUS) 6 3 3 6 0
10   Serge Poudrier (FRA) 6 2 4 6 4
11   Sergei Fedorov (RUS) 6 1 5 6 8

Medal-winning rostersEdit

Gold: Silver: Bronze:
  Czech Republic (CZE)
Josef Beránek
Jan Čaloun
Roman Čechmánek
Jiří Dopita
Roman Hamrlík
Dominik Hašek
Milan Hejduk
Milan Hnilička
Jaromír Jágr
František Kučera
Robert Lang
David Moravec
Pavel Patera
Libor Procházka
Martin Procházka
Robert Reichel
Martin Ručínský
Vladimír Růžička-C
Jiří Šlégr
Richard Šmehlík
Jaroslav Špaček
Martin Straka
Petr Svoboda
  Russia (RUS)
Pavel Bure-C
Valeri Bure
Oleg Chevtsov
Sergei Fedorov
Sergei Gonchar
Alexei Gusarov
Valeri Kamensky
Darius Kasparaitis
Andrei Kovalenko
Igor Kravchuk
Sergei Krivokrasov
Boris Mironov
Dmitri Mironov
Alexei Morozov
Sergei Nemchinov
Mikhail Shtalenkov
German Titov
Andrei Trefilov
Alexei Yashin
Dmitri Yushkevich
Valeri Zelepukin
Alexei Zhitnik
Alexei Zhamnov
  Finland (FIN)
Aki-Petteri Berg
Tuomas Grönman
Raimo Helminen
Sami Kapanen
Saku Koivu-C
Jari Kurri
Janne Laukkanen
Jere Lehtinen
Juha Lind
Jyrki Lumme
Jarmo Myllys
Mika Nieminen
Janne Niinimaa
Teppo Numminen
Ville Peltonen
Kimmo Rintanen
Teemu Selänne
Ari Sulander
Jukka Tammi
Esa Tikkanen
Kimmo Timonen
Antti Törmänen
Juha Ylönen

Source:

  • Gold – "Team members CZECH REPUBLIC". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  • Silver – "Team members Russia". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  • Bronze – "Team members Finland". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2009-07-29.

Roster notesEdit

Several of general manager Bobby Clarke's selections for Team Canada were controversial. Eric Lindros was named captain over longtime leaders such as Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, and Ray Bourque (Clarke at the time was general manager of Lindros's NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers).[2] Rob Zamuner was a surprise pick, while Mark Messier and Scott Niedermayer were omitted.[3] Japanese fans were disappointed when their adopted hero, Paul Kariya, a Canadian of Japanese heritage and one of Canada's best stars, failed to make the Games due to a head injury sustained from a crosscheck by Gary Suter during regular season NHL play.[4][5][6]

Memorably, during the shootout in their semifinal match against the Czech Republic, Canadian coach Marc Crawford opted to have defenceman Ray Bourque shoot in the shootout instead of high-scoring forwards Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman. Hockey commentators alternatively criticized Crawford's decision (Bourque, like the other four Canadian shooters, failed to score) or praised it on the grounds that Bourque was one of hockey's most accurate shooters at the time and Gretzky had always been surprisingly mediocre on breakaways.

ControversyEdit

Swedish player Ulf Samuelsson was discovered to have applied for American citizenship. Under Swedish law at the time, when one acquires a foreign passport, their citizenship is annulled. Samuelsson was ejected after having played the first game against Belarus, although Sweden kept their points from the win. The Czech National Olympic Committee felt that Sweden should lose the points and filed a protest with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which was rejected.[7]

Final rankingsEdit

Team
    Czech Republic
    Russia
    Finland
4th   Canada
5th   Sweden
6th   United States
7th   Belarus
8th   Kazakhstan
9th   Germany
10th   Slovakia
11th   France
12th   Italy
13th   Japan
14th   Austria

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit