The U.S. men’s hockey team, which finished third in its preliminary-round group in the Olympic tournament, will face Slovakia in a qualification round game Tuesday at 12:10 p.m. KST at Gangneung Hockey Centre. The winner will advance to a quarterfinal matchup against the Czech Republic here Wednesday.
The winner of each of the three groups and the team with the second-best record received byes to the quarterfinals. The Czechs won Group A, the Olympic Athletes from Russia won Group B, and Sweden won Group C. Canada had the best record among the second-place teams.
Slovakia finished fourth, one place behind the U.S., in preliminary-round play in Group B. The two teams met in the first round, with the U.S. winning 2-1 on a pair of power-play goals scored by Ryan Donato, one of four college players on the U.S. roster. That was the U.S. team’s only victory in the first round; Coach Tony Granato’s team lost to the Olympic Athletes from Russia, 4-0, and lost to Slovenia 3-2 in overtime.