Slovakia and Sweden will battle for the bronze medal in men’s ice hockey on Saturday. The former is looking for its first ever Olympic medal while the latter will vie for its 10th.
The puck drops on the bronze medal game on Saturday at 9:10 p.m. in Beijing, which is 8:10 a.m. ET on Saturday in the United States. Here is what we know about the participants.
Saturday, February 19
Sweden vs. Slovakia
How Sweden got here: Sweden will have to rebound quickly from a draining 2-1 loss to ROC on Friday. The two teams went toe-to-toe through three periods and a 10-minute overtime before ROC prevailed 3-2 in the eighth round of a shootout. Sweden went 2-0-1-0 in the preliminary rounds, which included a 4-1 victory over Slovakia on Feb. 11. That was good enough to earn a bye into the quarterfinals, where it bested Canada, 4-0. A two-time gold medalist (1994 and 2006), Sweden last medaled in men’s ice hockey in 2014, when it took home silver.
How Slovakia got here: Slovakia’s appearance in this game is a bit of a surprise as it entered the Olympics ranked ninth in the world. It went 1-0-0-2 in the prelims but then shut out Germany 4-0 and upset the then-undefeated USA in the quarterfinals, 3-2. Although it lost to Finland, 2-0, in the semis, Slovakia can earn its first ever medal in ice hockey with a win Saturday. Since becoming an independent country in 1993, Slovakia’s men’s ice hockey team has played for a medal only once in eight Olympic appearances; it lost the bronze medal game in 2010. It finished in 11th place in 2014 and 2018.