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Predators' Olympians begin play

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

All five Nashville Predators selected to participate for their respective countries in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, will see action Wednesday--the first day of competition in the men's ice hockey tournament.

Nashville defenseman Kimmo Timonen's Finland squad defeated Switzerland 5-0 early Wednesday. Finnish forwards Olli Jokinen and Teemu Selanne each post two goals and an assist in the victory.

The Czech Republic, featuring Predators Martin Erat, Marek Zidlicky and Tomas Vokoun on the roster, defeated Germany 4-1 in the second period. Vokoun entered the game for injured starting goaltender Dominik Hasek 9:25 into the opening period and went on to earn his first Olympic win. Predators prospect Alexander Sulzer assisted on the only goal allowed by Vokoun--a power-play tally at 19:50 of the first.

Russia, with Nashville defenseman Danny Markov, fell to Slovakia 5-3 in the day's fifth game. Markov posted an assist on his team's first goal, an even-strength marker by Pavel Datsyuk, but Slovakia used two late goals by Marian Gaborik to upset the favored Russians. Team USA (employing the services of Predators head equipment manager Pete Rogers) had a slow start to the tournament, closing the day's ice hockey schedule with a 3-3 tie with Latvia.

Earlier in the day, Sweden defeated Kazakhstan 7-2, and Canada knocked off the host country Italy by the same margin. Twelve countries are split into two groupings of six to begin the tournament, and each team will play the other members in its group once during the round-robin preliminaries. The top four finishers in each group will proceed to the quarterfinal brackets that will lead to the semifinals and the eventual medal rounds. Men's ice hockey will be played on nine of the remaining 12 days on the 2006 Olympic schedule.

Wednesday, February 15
Sweden 7, Kazakhstan 2
MSNBC, 4:30 a.m. CT

Canada 7, Italy 2
MSNBC, 6 a.m. CT

Finland 5, Switzerland 0
MSNBC, 8:30 a.m. CT

Czech Republic 4, Germany 1
MSNBC, 10 a.m. CT

Slovakia 5, Russia 3
MSNBC, 1 p.m. CT

USA 3, Latvia 3
USA Network, 2 p.m. CT

Thursday, February 16

Finland vs. Italy
MSNBC, 5:00 a.m. CT

Czech Republic vs. Switzerland
MSNBC, 6:00 a.m. CT

Sweden vs. Russia
MSNBC, 9:00 a.m. CT

Slovakia vs. Latvia
MSNBC, 10:00 a.m. CT

Canada vs. Germany
MSNBC, 1:00 p.m. CT

USA vs. Kazakhstan
USA Network, 2:00 p.m. CT

For Olympics broadcast channel information for your area:


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