SOCHI 2014: Team Slovenia

SloveniaHockeyLogoThe Slovenian men’s national team is making the Olympics for the first time ever. Although there’s not many players you’ll recognize by name, you might want to get familiar with them now.

Let’s start with a familiar family.

Anze Kopitar currently plays for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and he’ll be right at home with Team Slovenia. Hell, the team is coached by his father Matjaz. His brother Gasper, who played junior with the Portland Winterhawks will also be suiting up along side him. It’ll be a one-two Kopitar punch.

371px-Robert_Kristan_17112009Slovenia’s best goaltender Robert Kristan, will likely see his time to shine. He has represented Slovenia on numerous occasions and has accumulated an extensive history of awards. His last IIHF tournament, he boasted a .904 save percentage. He currently plays for KHL Medveščak Zagreb.

Right winger Marcel Rodman spent his junior years with the Peterborough Petes. Drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2001, he never did quite make it up to the big time. He went back and played for numerous Slovenian teams, including representing the national team on several occasions and he currently players for Schwenningen Wild Wings of the German Elite League.

Although most of the names on the Slovenian roster are not well known, it’s no reason you should overlook them. Competing in Group A alongside Russia, The United States and Slovakia, they definitely have their work cut out for them. Between them, Latvia and Switzerland, one team could emerge as the underdog and surprise everyone. (I mean, remember Canada and Belarus? Torino disaster.)

The Sochi Olympics are coming fast and furious. Not much long to wait now folks.

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