XXI WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES — 2010 – Vancouver, CANADA
Group A : Canada, Norway, Switzerland, United States
Group B : Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia
Group C : Belarus, Finland, Germany, Sweden
February 16 : United States vs Switzerland — Canada vs Norway — Russia vs Latvia
February 17 : Finland vs Belarus — Sweden vs Germany — Czech Republic vs Slovakia
February 18 : United States vs Norway — Switzerland vs Canada — Slovakia vs Russia
February 19 : Belarus vs Sweden — Czech Republic vs Latvia — Finland vs Germany
February 20 : Norway vs Switzerland — Latvia vs Slovakia — Germany vs Belarus
February 21 — Russia vs Czech Republic — Canada vs United States — Sweden vs Finland
Following the preliminary round in which all teams will play three games, the nations will be ranked one thru twelve based on results. The top four countries will receive a bye to the quarterfinal round. The other eight nations will play-off to determine the other four quarterfinalists.
The quarterfinals continue the head-to-head knockout process until the Olympic champion is crowned.
For the very first time in the history of Olympic ice hockey, the Games will be played on a National Hockey League-sized sheet of ice. The results of this will provide a narrower NHL rink (85 feet) as compared to the wider surface (98.5 feet) found in international competition.
The reason for the change is simple — money.
It is estimated that Vancouver will save $ 10 million Canadian dollars in construction costs and, as a result of the smaller-sized rinks, more spectators (35,000) will be able to attend the hockey games.
“VANOC Shrinks Olympic Ice” — by Bob Mackin