ice hockey

Here's How to Watch Men's Ice Hockey At the Winter Olympics

Here’s everything you need to know about men’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

While NHL players won’t be at the 2022 Winter Olympics, the men’s ice hockey competition in Beijing still promises to be an exciting one.

The Russian athletes will be looking to make it two gold medals in a row after a thrilling win at the 2018 PyeongChang Games. But they’ll face stiff competition from several other teams, most notably Team Canada. The Canadians will want to reclaim gold after having to settle for bronze last time around.

Meanwhile, a young Team USA back will try to get back on the podium for the first time since the 2010 Vancouver Games.

From TV and streaming info to the tournament favorites and more, here’s everything you need to know about men’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games:

What is the schedule for men’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The men’s ice hockey competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics begins on Feb. 9 with preliminary round play, which will run until Feb. 13. The qualification playoffs are set for Feb. 15, with the knockout rounds starting on Feb. 16 and the semifinals taking place on Feb. 18.

The bronze medal game is slated for Feb. 19 and the competition concludes with the gold medal game on Feb. 20.

How can I watch men’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The men’s hockey games will be broadcast across NBC, CNBC and USA Network. You can also stream the action on the NBC Sports app, Peacock and

Check out the full broadcast schedule here.

Why aren’t NHL players competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The National Hockey League opted out of the 2022 Winter Olympics in December. The opt-out was due to a COVID-19 surge within the league that led to the postponement of dozens of regular-season games. 

When the NHL announced its withdrawal from the Olympics on Dec. 23, there had been 50 game postponements. That number was up into the 90s just a couple of weeks later. A break had initially been built into the schedule to accommodate the Olympics, but the NHL needed that two-plus-week stretch back to make up games.

Who won gold in men’s ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics?

At the 2018 Games, the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) took down Germany 4-3 in overtime to win gold. The NHL didn’t send its players to the 2018 Olympics either due to travel costs and league scheduling.

Russian athletes will now be representing the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), not the OAR, in Beijing. Why aren’t they simply competing for Russia? Well, Russia is currently serving a ban from international competition, including the Olympics and Paralympics, due to a doping scandal. Russian athletes who weren’t involved in the doping scandal are still allowed to compete, they just can’t represent the country of Russia.

Who is competing in men’s ice hockey for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The United States is rolling with its youngest roster (average age of 25.1) at an Olympics since the 1994 Lillehammer Games. The 25-man unit features 15 players from the college ranks, five Kontinental Hockey League (Russia) players, two Swedish Hockey League players, two American Hockey League players and one Deutsche Eishockey Liga (Germany) player.

Forward Brian O’Neill is the only returning player from the 2018 squad, which only featured four NCAA players. That U.S. team finished seventh.

O’Neill is joined by six other players with NHL experience in forwards Nick Shore, Kenny Agostino and Any Miele, and defensemen Steven Kampfer, Aaron Ness and David Warsofksy.

Thirteen of the college athletes on this year’s team are NHL draft picks. North Dakota defenseman Jake Sanderson (2020 No. 5 overall pick of the Ottawa Senators) and Michigan forwards Matty Beniers (2021 No. 2 overall pick of the Seattle Kraken) and Brendan Brisson (2020 No. 29 overall pick of the Vegas Golden Knights) were first-round selections. Sanderson, Beiners and defenseman Brock Faber (2020 second-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings) are the first teenagers on Team USA’s roster since 1992. They are each 19 years old.

Harvard forward Nick Abruzzese (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Minnesota State forward Nathan Smith (Winnipeg Jets) rank among the top NCAA players in points per game this season.

What countries are the favorites to medal in men’s ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

To no surprise, the ROC and Canada are the top favorites to take gold.

The Russian Olympic Committee won’t have the same kind of stacked roster as they did in 2018. Three-time Selke winner Pavel Datsyuk and two-time NHL All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk aren’t part of the 2022 team, while former prospects like Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov and Ottowa Senators defenseman Artem Zub are now NHLers. 

Even so, they’ll still have enough talent to contend for another gold medal. Forwards Nikita Gusev, who was the leading scorer at the 2018 Olympics, and Vadim Shipachyov lead the returning players from the gold medal-winning team, while ex-NHLer Artem Anisimov leads the newcomers who are stepping into the squad.

Team Canada’s roster is headlined by two top-five picks from the 2021 NHL Draft in Michigan defenseman Owen Power (No. 1 pick by the Buffalo Sabres) and OHL forward Mason McTavish (No. 3 pick by the Anaheim Ducks). The Canadians also have some notable ex-NHLers in one-time All-Star forward Eric Staal and longtime Montreal Canadiens forward David Desharnais.

But it shouldn’t be a cakewalk to the gold medal game for either the ROC or Canada, as Finland, Germany, Sweden and the United States all have the potential to challenge for a spot on the podium.

What country has the most medals in men’s ice hockey?

Canada leads the way in men’s ice hockey medals with 15. They are tied with the Soviet Union for the second-most golds with eight. 

The United States will have the chance to take over sole possession of second for total medals at the Beijing Games. Team USA is currently tied with the Soviet Union at 10 medals apiece. The United States’ most recent medal win was silver at the 2010 Olympics. The last time Team USA won gold was the Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Sweden is tied with the U.S. for the third-most golds and is fourth in total medals with nine.

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