As many as three Wild players could return to St. Paul with an Olympic medal draped around their necks. Brian Rolston and Marian Gaborik will return with only memories of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
Daniel Tjarnqvist, Mikko Koivu and Filip Kuba advanced to the semifinals with wins from their respective teams on a wild Wednesday.
Tjarnqvist and Team Sweden blitzed the surprising Swiss, 6-2, while Koivu and Team Finland eeked past Rolston and a Jekyll and Hyde Team USA.
Gaborik’s third goal of the tournament was not enough to help Slovakia overtake the Czech Republic in the final quarterfinal of the night. Kuba and the Czechs advance with a 3-1 win.
On Friday, Sweden will face the Czech Republic in one semifinal, while Finland matches up with Russia in the other.
Center Mikko Koivu and Team Finland advanced to the Olympic Semifinals with a 4-3 win over the United States on Wednesday. Koivu was a -1 and registered one shot on goal for the Finns, who withstood a furious comeback by the Americans in the latter half of the third period.
Defenseman Filip Kuba was a +2 in the Czech Republic’s 3-1 win over previously-undefeated Slovakia on Wednesday.
Defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist picked up an assist and was a +3 in Sweden’s 6-2 quarterfinal thumping of Team Switzerland. Tjarnqvist assisted on Sweden’s fifth goal, scored by Mats Sundin. He also registered one shot on goal.
Right wing Marian Gaborik scored Slovakia’s only goal in a 3-1 loss to the Czech Republic. Gaborik blew by a falling Marek Zidlicky for a breakaway, and he cleanly beat Milan Hnlicka with a quick shot that cut the deficit to 2-1. Gaborik’s seven points were enough to tie him for second on the Slovakia scoring charts, behind only Marian Hossa.
Left wing Brian Rolston’s third trip to the Olympics came to an end on Wednesday in Team USA’s loss to unbeaten Finland. Rolston was held without a point, and he registered one shot on goal. He finished the tournament with the second-most goals (three) for the Americans; one behind Brian Gionta.