NBC Olympics staff will select three stars to spotlight special performers from each day’s competition.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Olympic Athletes from Russia: The Russian superstar reminded the world just how lethal he can be, netting two goals against Team USA and leading OAR to the top of Group B after a slip up in the opening game. No. 71 blasted a one-timer with less than one second remaining in the second period before snapping a wrist shot with pin-point placement in the opening minute of the third. He surpassed Pavel Bure as the Russian leading scorer at the Olympics in the post-Soviet era.
Pius Suter, Switzerland: The 21-year-old took it to South Korea, scoring a hat trick in Switzerland’s 8-0 blowout victory over the hosts. After extending Canada’s lead to 3-0 in the middle frame, Suter picked up his second goal in the third period, chasing Matt Dalton from the net. Suter will look to continue his momentum next time out against the Czech Republic, with Switzerland having an outside chance to earn a bye to the quarterfinals with a win and a Canadian loss to Korea.
Pavel Francouz, Czech Republic: The Czech goaltender stood tall in net to snap Canada’s 11-game Olympic winning streak. Francouz saved 31 of 33 shots across 65 minutes of action as the game went to overtime, and he saved four of five shots in the shootout to boost the Czech Republic to a 3-2 win. Francouz now looks ahead to a date with Switzerland as his team looks to wrap up the top spot in Group A.