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Finland
Austria

52 SOG
20 SOG
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FIN
AUT
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Finland tries to avoid upset by Austria

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 12:42 AM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

FINLAND vs. AUSTRIA

When: Thursday, 3 a.m. ET (NBCSN, SNET)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: This is the opening game for each team in Group B. Finland is coming off a bronze-medal finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and will face a country that is back in the tournament for the first time since 2002. For the Finns, it is imperative they come strong out of the gate and avoid what would be a huge upset.

Finland: Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has established himself as one of the League's best this season, tied for fifth in the NHL with 25 wins while boasting a 2.11 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. The 26-year-old gets his first taste of Olympic hockey and will have to be sharp to maintain playing time considering his country has Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars as viable alternatives.

"I'm sure it's going to be a great experience," Rask told the Bruins website. "I think every time you get to play with your countrymen, it's something special. I'm really looking forward to that. Hopefully we'll win some games too so it's not just a vacation."

Austria: Three NHL players will compete for Austria at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and two of them skate for the same team in North America. New York Islanders forwards Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner will represent their native country, along with Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl.

Vanek knows his country has a tough task ahead, but is excited for the challenge.

"It's an honor to play for your country, especially on a stage like this," Vanek told the Islanders website. "For us, it's fun to be there. We have a tough task ahead of us. It comes down to goaltending and we'll have to play smart, but we have some guys in the lineup that can make plays. Are we going to be huge underdogs? We will be, but we have to play smart."

What's next: Group B play continues for each team Friday. Finland faces Norway in another game it should win before its huge showdown with Canada on Sunday. Austria will have to deal with the Canadians on Friday before facing Norway on Sunday.

Finland
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
50 J. Aaltonen 6'0" 196 6/4/1985 Ii, FIN
16 A. Barkov FLA 6'2" 205 9/2/1995 Tampere, FIN
64 M. Granlund MIN 5'10" 186 2/26/1992 Oulu, FIN
26 J. Immonen 6'0" 198 4/19/1982 Rantasalmi, FIN
36 J. Jokinen PIT 5'11" 198 4/1/1983 Kalajoki, FIN
12 O. Jokinen WPG 6'2" 210 12/5/1978 Kuopio, FIN
71 L. Komarov 5'10" 187 1/23/1987 Narva, EST
27 P. Kontiola 6'0" 205 10/4/1984 Seinajoki, FIN
28 L. Korpikoski PHX 6'1" 205 7/28/1986 Turku, FIN
21 J. Lehterä 6'1" 201 12/23/1987 Helsinki, FIN
41 A. Pihlström 5'11" 181 10/22/1984 Vantaa, FIN
15 T. Ruutu CAR 6'0" 205 2/16/1983 Vantaa, FIN
23 S. Salminen 5'10" 165 5/31/1988 Pori, FIN
8 T. Selänne ANA 6'0" 209 7/3/1970 Helsinki, FIN
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
5 L. Kukkonen 6'0" 187 9/18/1981 Oulu, FIN
38 J. Hietanen 5'10" 187 6/14/1985 Hämeenlinna, FIN
18 S. Lepistö 6'1" 194 10/17/1984 Espoo, FIN
3 O. Määttä PIT 6'2" 206 8/22/1994 Jyväskylä, FIN
6 S. Salo TBL 6'3" 215 9/2/1974 Turku, FIN
44 K. Timonen PHI 5'10" 194 3/18/1975 Kuopio, FIN
4 O. Väänänen 6'4" 216 8/18/1980 Vantaa, FIN
45 S. Vatanen ANA 5'10" 183 6/3/1991 Jyväskylä, FIN
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
32 K. Lehtonen DAL 6'4" 210 11/16/1983 Helsinki, FIN
31 A. Niemi SJS 6'2" 210 8/29/1983 Vantaa, FIN
40 T. Rask BOS 6'2" 185 3/10/1987 Savonlinna, FIN
Austria
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
40 M. Grabner NYI 6'0" 186 10/5/1987 Villach, AUT
89 R. Herburger 5'10" 165 1/2/1989 Dornbirn, AUT
27 T. Hundertpfund 6'2" 187 12/14/1989 Klagenfurt, AUT
25 M. Iberer 6'2" 201 4/29/1985 Graz, AUT
18 T. Koch 5'8" 174 8/17/1983 Klagenfurt, AUT
15 M. Latusa 5'11" 194 1/23/1984 Wien, AUT
77 B. Lebler 6'3" 212 7/16/1988 Klagenfurt, AUT
14 A. Nodl 6'2" 198 2/28/1987 Vienna, AUT
10 D. Oberkofler 6'0" 163 7/16/1988 Graz, AUT
12 M. Raffl PHI 6'0" 195 12/1/1988 Villach, AUT
5 T. Raffl 6'4" 205 6/19/1986 Villach, AUT
91 O. Setzinger 6'0" 196 7/11/1983 Horn, AUT
26 T. Vanek NYI 6'0" 217 1/19/1984 Vienna, AUT
20 D. Welser 5'11" 187 2/16/1983 Klagenfurt, AUT
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
41 M. Altmann 6'4" 207 11/4/1986 Wien, AUT
48 F. Iberer 6'1" 198 12/7/1982 Graz, AUT
64 A. Lakos 6'8" 236 7/29/1979 Wien, AUT
55 R. Lukas 5'10" 185 8/29/1978 Wien, AUT
22 T. Pöck 6'1" 205 12/2/1981 Klagenfurt, AUT
51 M. Trattnig 6'1" 212 4/22/1979 Graz, AUT
7 S. Ulmer 5'10" 165 12/1/1990 Dornbirn, AUT
4 G. Unterluggauer 5'10" 194 8/15/1976 Villach, AUT
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
24 M. Lange 5'10" 181 4/13/1985 Klagenfurt, AUT
29 B. Starkbaum 6'1" 196 2/19/1986 Wien, AUT
30 R. Swette 6'0" 174 8/21/1988 Lustenau, AUT