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

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Ice hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympics
Ice hockey pictogram.svg
Tournament
men  women
Qualification
men     
Rosters
men  women
Men's ice hockey
at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games
Medalists
Gold medal 
Silver medal 
Bronze medal 

The 1998 Olympic men's ice hockey tournament was the first in which the National Hockey League (NHL) took a break 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 (such as the USA Men's Basketball team), NHL players were required to stay in the Olympic Village like other athletes.

Both Canada and the United States were heavily favoured; they had previously faced off in the final of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. After a below-expectations performance in the tournament which included only one win, however, several American players trashed their rooms in the Olympic Village and never apologized.[1] 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. Nonetheless, Gretzky encouraged all of his teammates to attend the closing ceremony.

With political struggles and problems within the Russian hockey program at the time, Team Russia was missing most of its top NHL stars that refused to participate for political or personal reasons, and were not expected to medal. Among the missing were Nikolai Khabibulin, Alexander Mogilny, Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, Oleg Tverdovsky, Vladimir Malakhov and Sergei Zubov[2] Alexei Kovalev missed the tournament due to injury where he was replaced by Sergei Fedorov, who called the president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and offered to be a substitute, who had not played in nearly a year and was currently in a holdout with the Detroit Red Wings.[3]

Thanks to the goaltending of Dominik Hašek, who was considered the best goaltender throughout Olympic play as well as the NHL, the Czech Republic shut out Russia to win the gold medal.

The format of the men's tournament was criticized because the National Hockey League 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.

Qualification[edit]

Preliminary Round[edit]

Group A[edit]

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 Kazakhstan  5 – 3
(1-3, 1-0, 3-0)
 Italy The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,634
7 February 1998 Austria  2 – 2
(1-0, 1-2, 0-0)
 Slovakia Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 4,315
8 February 1998 Austria  5 – 5
(2-2, 2-1, 1-2)
 Kazakhstan The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,410
8 February 1998 Slovakia  4 – 3
(1-2, 3-1, 0-0)
 Italy The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,620
10 February 1998 Italy  5 – 2
(2-0, 2-0, 1-2)
 Austria The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,473
10 February 1998 Slovakia  3 – 4
(1-1, 1-0, 1-3)
 Kazakhstan Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,659

Group B[edit]

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 1998 France  0 – 4
(0-1, 0-1, 0-2)
 Belarus Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,419
7 February 1998 Germany  3 – 1
(0-0, 1-0, 2-1)
 Japan The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,861
9 February 1998 Germany  2 – 8
(0-2, 2-3, 0-3)
 Belarus The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 8,063
9 February 1998 Japan  2 – 5
(2-1, 0-1, 0-3)
 France The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,930
10 February 1998 Japan  2 – 2
(1-1, 1-1, 0-0)
 Belarus The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,659
10 February 1998 France  0 – 2
(0-0, 0-1, 0-1)
 Germany Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,916

Consolation round[edit]

13th place match[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

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

11th place match[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

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

9th place match[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

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

First Round[edit]

Group C[edit]

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 Canada  5 – 0
(2-0, 2-0, 1-0)
 Belarus The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,960
13 February 1998 Sweden  4 – 2
(1-2, 2-0, 1-0)
 United States The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,985
14 February 1998 United States  5 – 2
(2-1, 1-0, 2-1)
 Belarus The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,975
14 February 1998 Canada  3 – 2
(0-1, 3-0, 0-1)
 Sweden The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,945
16 February 1998 Sweden  5 – 2
(2-0, 1-1, 2-1)
 Belarus Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 4,235
16 February 1998 Canada  4 – 1
(1-0, 2-0, 1-1)
 United States The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9.451

Group D[edit]

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 Russia  9 – 2
(2-1, 5-0, 2-1)
 Kazakhstan Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 3,752
13 February 1998 Czech Republic  3 – 0
(0-0, 0-1, 0-2)
 Finland Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 5,050
15 February 1998 Czech Republic  8 – 2
(1-0, 3-2, 4-0)
 Kazakhstan The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,975
15 February 1998 Russia  4 – 3
(2-1, 1-2, 0-1)
 Finland The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,894
16 February 1998 Russia  2 – 1
(0-0, 0-1, 2-0)
 Czech Republic The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,847
16 February 1998 Finland  8 – 2
(3-1, 1-0, 4-1)
 Kazakhstan Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 5,544

Final round[edit]

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

Quarter-finals[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

18 February 1998 Canada  4 – 1
(2-1, 2-0, 0-0)
 Kazakhstan The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,602
18 February 1998 Czech Republic  4 – 1
(0-1, 3-0, 1-0)
 United States The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,822
18 February 1998 Finland  2 – 1
(0-0, 0-0, 2-1)
 Sweden Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 5,044
18 February 1998 Russia  4 – 1
(1-0, 1-0, 2-0)
 Belarus Aqua Wing Arena, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 4,628

Semi-finals[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

20 February 1998 Canada  1 – 2 SO
(0-0, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0)
(SO: 0-1)
 Czech Republic The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,279
20 February 1998 Finland  4 – 7
(0-2, 3-2, 1-3)
 Russia The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,640

Bronze medal game[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

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

Gold medal game[edit]

All times are local (UTC+9).

22 February 1998 1 Czech Republic 1 – 0
(0-0, 0-0, 1-0)
Russia  2 The Big Hat, Nagano, Japan
Attendance: 9,985

Leading scorers[edit]

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 rosters[edit]

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)
Teemu Selänne
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
Ari Sulander
Jukka Tammi
Esa Tikkanen
Kimmo Timonen
Antti Törmänen
Juha Ylönen

Source:

Roster notes[edit]

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).[4] Rob Zamuner was a surprise pick, while Mark Messier and Scott Niedermayer were omitted.[5]

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) and 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.

Japanese fans were disappointed when their adopted hero, Paul Kariya, a Canadian of Japanese heritage and one of Team Canada's best stars, failed to make the Games due to a crosscheck by Gary Suter during regular season NHL play.[6]

Records[edit]

Sergei Fedorov of Team Russia became the first player to win an Olympic Silver Medal in hockey and Stanley Cup in the same year.

Final rankings[edit]

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

References[edit]