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Avalanche Olympic Update: Feb. 17

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Three Avalanche players and one prospect are currently competing at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Men’s Olympic hockey kicked off Tuesday, with Paul Stastny and the United States taking on Switzerland in the opener and prospect Jonas Holos and his Norway squad facing off against Canada.

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USA Wins Opener
Stastny and the United States opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. The Avalanche assistant captain was held without a point in Team USA’s victory. Centering Zach Parise and Patrick Kane on the United States’ top line, Stastny saw 16:29 of ice time and recorded one shot on goal.

Highlights: Check out highlights from the United States/Switzerland tilt on

Next Up For Team USA: The United States will continue preliminary round play on Thursday when the squad faces Norway at 1:00 p.m. MT.

Must-See Video: Prior to heading to Vancouver, Paul Stastny shared his thoughts on the Olympics. Watch a video of Stastny, courtesy of

Norway Downed By Host Country
Holos and Norway had the Canadian squad on their heels early, but eventually fell to the host country by an 8-0 count. After one period of play the two teams battled to a scoreless draw, but Canada scored three times in the middle frame and tacked on five more tallies in the final stanza to earn the victory. Holos logged a game-high 27:57 of ice time and recorded one shot on goal in the contest.

Highlights: Watch video highlights from the Norway/Canada game on

Next Up For Norway:
Holos and his Team Norway squad will try to slow down the Americans on Thursday.

The United States, Switzerland, Norway and Canada comprise Group A during preliminary round play.

What’s On Tap
Ruslan Salei and Belarus begin Olympic play against Finland on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. MT. It will be the third Olympic appearance for the defenseman, who also represented his home country at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan and the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

For the preliminary round, Belarus has been placed in Group C, along with Finland, Germany and Sweden.

Peter Budaj and Slovakia will play in the nightcap, taking on the Czech Republic at 10:00 p.m. MT. Budaj will be making his second appearance at the Olympic Winter Games after previously representing Slovakia at the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy.

During the preliminary round Slovakia is competing in Group B with the Czech Republic, Latvia and Russia.

Must-See Video: Like Stastny, Salei shared his thoughts on the Olympics before leaving for Vancouver. Watch an interview with Salei, courtesy of

Photo Gallery: View pictures of the Avalanche’s “Olympic Sendoff” for Budaj, Salei and Stastny. Colorado honored its Olympians prior to its home game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 12.
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