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George Gosbee Reports from Winter Games

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the next several days, Phoenix Coyotes Co-Owner George Gosbee will be in Sochi, Russia to take in the 2014 Winter Olympics, especially the men's hockey tournament, in which five Coyotes players will be participating. Each day or so, Gosbee will check in with flagship radio station Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and will post on his Twitter - follow him @Goz100. We'll also keep fans updated here in a Goz Blog from Sochi.

Day 11 (Friday, February 21):

Photo by Getty Images.

On Canada’s win over the United States in the women’s gold medal game on Thursday: “I was shocked that Canada came back to win it. Everybody here (at Canada’s after-game party) really enjoyed themselves until early in the morning at the arena.”

On the Sweden vs. Finland semifinal game on Friday:
“I think the surprising story today is Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Phoenix Coyotes, considered one of the best defenseman in the League, has not been on the ice for a single shift. I don’t know what’s going on. Hopefully the coach is saving him until the third period. Maybe he’s the secret weapon.”

On the Canada vs. United States semifinal game on Friday: “I can’t wait. I’ve watched every one of these Canada/U.S. games since Salt Lake City (in 2002) and hockey doesn’t get any better than what’s going to happen tonight… I think the U.S. has to just keep playing their game. Their forwards are working and their goalie is working and the ‘D’ is working. If they keep playing their game like they’ve been playing all week they’re going to win this (game).”

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Friday morning.

Day 10 (Thursday, February 20):

On Friday’s semifinal game between Canada and the United States: "This is one of the best rivalries in hockey if not any sport. I can hardly wait to watch it. I think it’s going to be an epic game… I think Team USA is playing great right now. Canada better get their act together."

Is it the classiest rivalry in the Olympics? "I would say so. It’s going to be great to see them play an NHL style of hockey on the big ice. It’s going to be a very entertaining game."

On the mood in Russia after Team Russia’s elimination from medal contention: "It’s very sobering right now. This morning you wake up to a country that’s in shock that Russia’s not playing for a men’s hockey medal … (but) I don’t see it’s going to be a negative on the sport in Russia."

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Thursday morning.

Day 9 (Wednesday, February 19):

Photo by Getty Images.
On host Russia possibly not winning the gold medal in men’s hockey: “That’s why I call it the 52 billion dollar gold medal. If Russia doesn’t win it a lot of people aren’t going to be happy over here.”

On USA’s chances vs. Czech Republic in quarterfinals: “I think it’s going to be tough but not going to be as tough as some of the people around here are talking. I think that the Czech team is not playing very well right now and it should be a pretty easy game for the U.S to win.”

On the infrastructure in Sochi: “As far as the infrastructure goes and the facilities, it’s really, really world-class. Once you get to the village and once you get on to what I call the compound then it’s smooth sailing and it’s hard to beat.”

On whether he’d be at Olympics if he didn’t co-own the Coyotes: "Absolutely. This is my fifth Winter Games and even if I wasn’t involved with the Coyotes or the NHL, I’d be over here anyway. It’s a great time if you’re a big fan of winter sports, and especially ice hockey, and I’m having a blast.”

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Wednesday morning.

Day 5
(Friday, February 14):

"I bike to the rink every day from the hotel…The security and the NHL guys were wondering what the heck I was doing, but I couldn’t take (the public transportation) anymore."

"I talked to a receptionist (to ask for help finding a bike) at the hotel and she said she couldn’t help me. And then I told her if she gets me a bike, I’ll give it to her after the gold medal game (in hockey) and, amazingly, I got one within a few hours."
Photo by Getty Images.

On Team USA: "They’re playing with so much confidence…They (the US) know they can beat any team here and I think that’s the difference between them and the other teams."

On US vs. Russia on Saturday at 5:30am MT: “That’s the ticket…This place is gonna be on fire.
I’m going to pick the USA 4-3."

"On Saturday, the only game I’ll really go to is the US-Russia game…Today I was at the Czech Republic-Latvia game and two of our Coyotes players – Zbynek Michalek and Martin Hanzal – got on the score sheet, so that’s always good to see."

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Friday morning.

Day 4 (Thursday, February 13):

(Live in the middle of the USA-Slovakia game) - "It’s a great atmosphere in the rink…I got a TV right in front of me so I’m watching both (the USA-Slovakia and Russia-Slovenia) games, so it’s good."

"Slovakia came out strong in the first and they had all the opportunities, but you can’t match the talent pool (the US) has that on team."

(Doug and Wolf asked about rink size difference)
- "I don’t think you’ll change the size of the (North American) rinks. It’d just be too costly, not just for the NHL, but in all rinks across (the continent)."

"I’ll be watching hockey all day today. I was actually late to Finland game because I was at the beach!"

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Thursday morning.

Day 3 (Wednesday, February 12):

"When I woke up 8 a.m. this morning, I felt like I was in Scottsdale. I went for a run in a t-shirt and shorts and I think I may have a sunburn now!"

"I’m going to watch Shani Davis before Sweden-Czech Republic hockey."

"The United States has the toughest bracket in the tournament. They have to come out and face Slovakia (my sleeper team) and then Russia…These first two are really important for the US."

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Wednesday morning.

Day 2 (Tuesday, February 11):

"It's beautiful outside today (and I am) at the Bolshoy Ice Rink and looking at palm trees. It’s kind of weird, but can’t complain. (The Bolshoy Ice Dome) may be the nicest hockey rink I think I’ve ever been in.

Co-Owner George Gosbee spent Tuesday at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, taking in several team practices.

The US practice (I watched) was pretty intense and arguably they have the hardest qualification round...The US vs. Russia game (Sunday) is the game to watch. That’s the one circled on everyone’s calendars.
My sleeper team is Slovakia."

Yesterday (Monday), I went to the long track speed skating and then just hung out down around the village and tried to get a lot of the atmosphere. It seems like half the people are up in the mountains trying to watch Shaun White get his third straight (gold) medal."

Tonight, I think I’ll hang out at the (US) hockey house before I crash for the night."

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Tuesday morning.

Day 1 (Monday, February 10):

Coyotes Co-Owners George Gosbee and W.R. "Bill" Dutton relax outside Canada House before watching Dutton's grandson William compete for the Canadian speed skating team.

"We flew over with the players and arrived and walked around the facility. It’s impressive. The atmosphere is great so far.

"Wednesday is a big game when the Coyotes have three players on the ice when the Czech Republic plays Sweden so that will be a pretty good (time)."

AUDIO: Listen to Gosbee's report on 98.7 FM from Monday morning.

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