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Quarterfinals begin on Wednesday

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

All five of Nashville's Olympians played their final game of the round-robin preliminary round on Tuesday and all five are moving on and will begin the quarterfinals on Wednesday in Men's ice hockey at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turino, Italy. The top eight teams of the 12-team preliminary round are moving on to the quarterfinals where it is win or go home.

Nashville defenseman Kimmo Timonen and Finland stayed perfect (5-0) in the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Germany on Tuesday. Finland will begin the quarterfinals with a tilt vs. the United States on Wednesday.

After dropping a 3-2 decision to Canada on Tuesday, the Czech Republic, featuring Martin Erat, Tomas Vokoun and Marek Zidlicky will not have much time to rebound as they face off vs. an undefeated Slovakia squad (5-0) on Wednesday.

Nashville defenseman Danny Markov and Russia finished the preliminary round with a 5-4 victory over the United States on Tuesday and will begin the quarterfinals with a game vs. Canada on Wednesday.

In other action on Tuesday, Latvia knocked off Kazakhstan 5-2 prior to the United States tilt vs. Russia. Latvia's win assured the U.S. a berth in the quarterfinals vs. Finland even before the 5-4 loss to Russia. Slovakia improved to 5-0 with its 3-0 win over Sweden and host Italy ended its tournament with a 3-3 tie vs. Switzerland.

Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany and Latvia will not advance to the quarterfinals. Twelve countries were split into two groupings of six to begin the tournament, and each team played the other members in its group once during the round-robin preliminaries. The top four finishers in each group are proceeding to the quarterfinal brackets that will lead to the semifinals and the eventual medal rounds.

Round-robin preliminary round results

Group A
Finland  5-0-0
Switzerland  2-1-2
Canada   3-2-0
Czech Republic  2-3-0

Group B
Slovakia  5-0-0
Russia   4-1-0
Sweden   3-2-0
USA   1-3-1

Men's Quarterfinals - Wednesday, February 22
Sweden vs. Switzerland
USA Network, 9:30 a.m. CT
United States vs. Finland
MSNBC, 10:30 a.m. CT
Canada vs. Russia
MSNBC, 1:30 p.m. CT
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia
USA Network, 2:30 p.m. CT

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