Tomas Surovy left Torino without a medal.
However, he brought back plenty of great memories.
The Pittsburgh Penguins winger was part of Slovakia’s team that finished fifth overall at the Winter Olympics.
“For me, it was a great time to be there,” he said. “Playing for my country was an honor, especially at the Olympics.”
Slovakia went unbeaten (5-0) to finish first in Pool B with preliminary-round wins over Russia (5-3), Latvia (6-3), the United States (2-1), Kazakhstan (2-1) and Sweden (3-0). However, Slovakia dropped a 3-1 decision to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.
“It was a great time. It was too bad we lost our first playoff game,” Surovy said. “We won all five of our games in the group. It was pretty cool, too bad we lost the most-important game. Everybody was supporting us. You can feel the passion there, for sure.”
Surovy had one assist in six games for Slovakia. He was used primarily on the fourth line, a change from his offensive-minded top-line position with the Penguins.
“Being responsible for the fourth line, all I needed to do was play defense, so it was a lot different than what I do here,” he said. “It was bigger ice, so it was a different hockey style.”
In a surprising final, Sweden beat Finland to capture the gold medal. Surovy got a good look at the Swedes as Slovakia beat them in the preliminary round.
“Finland and Sweden were good skaters. I think that was the biggest advantage for them,” he said.
Overall, Surovy was just happy to be part of the team, see old friends and represent his country.
“Oh yeah. It was fun because you meet the guys from your team and you know each other, but we haven’t seen each other in a long time,” he said. “Also playing for your country is great.”
Now that he’s back in Pittsburgh, Surovy, who has 18 points (9+9) in 30 games this year, is focused on the Penguins’ final 23 contests.
“I am just focusing for the season here,” he said. “After the Olympic break, we have to focus on the last 23 games and look at it as a short season and do the best that we can.”