The next country on the Sochi Olympic hockey preview series I am running does not get any attention at all on the international hockey scene. In fact I still have to look at a map to find out where the hell they are.
When the Olympics start up next week, one of the least-scrutinized teams in the tournament will be Team Norway. More known for Vikings than for hockey, here is a look at the guys selected to play for the Norwegians. There are a few New York Ranger fans out there that will recognize one player on the team, Mats Zuccarello made a mark for himself when he scored a pair of goals in the 2014 Stadium Series when his Rangers played the New York Islanders.
I think that Norway is so little known on the international hockey stage (along with 2 other countries), that they all took every last second they were given to name their 25-man rosters, says tsn.ca.
Here is an updated version of the Norwegian jerseys:
HOW DID THEY QUALIFY?
Norway qualified directly for the Olympics by virtue of being amongst the top nine teams in the world according to the IIHF World Rankings following the 2012 World Hockey Championships. In those rankings they came in at number eight in the world.
The Norwegian roster features just one NHLer, New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello.
Their complete 25-man roster is as follows:
Goaltenders: Lars Haugen, Lars Volden, Steffen Soberg.
Defence: Alexander Bonsaksen, Jonas Holos, Henrik Solberg, Daniel Sorvik, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Mats Trygg, Henrik Odegaard.
Forwards: Morten Ask, Anders Bastiansen, Robin Dahlstrom, Kristian Forsberg, Mads Hansen, Marius Holtet, Sondre Olden, Ken Andre Olimb, Mathis Olimb, Mats Rosseli Olsen, Niklas Roest, Martin Roymark, Per-Age Skroder, Patrick Thoresen, Mats Zuccarello.
Norway (and Austria) will both be in tough all tournament long and will play out of Group B alongside Canada and Finland.
2010 finish: 10th place finish in Vancouver. Norway lost to Slovakia in the qualification playoffs.
2014 predictions: 3rd place in Group B.
Opening Day Opponent: guess who the Norwegians will be taking on this Thursday morning? Team Canada!
Game time is slated for 12 noon EST, which is 9pm Russia time.