Olympic Primer: Team Austria
Monday, 02.10.2014 / 12:30 PM ET
|2014 Sochi Olympics|
|Team Austria Schedule|
|2/13*||Austria vs. Finland||3:00 a.m. NBCSN|
|2/14*||Austria vs. Canada||12:00 p.m. USA|
|2/16*||Austria vs. Norway||3:00 a.m. USA|
|* Preliminary Round
Islanders forwards Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner headline Team Austria at the Sochi Olympics. The pair of first-time Olympians are expected to carry the offensive load for the Austrians, who will likely need to score an upset win in the qualification playoff to advance to the quarterfinals.
Vanek, a two-time 40-goal scorer, was named captain of the Austrian squad and has 49 points (19G/30A) in 57 games this season. Grabner, who won the NHL’s fastest skater competition in 2010-11, is a former 34-goal scorer and has 20 points (9G/11A) this season.
Grabner and Vanek are joined by fellow-NHLer, Michal Raffl, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers. Austria last qualified for the Olympics in 2002.
The Austrians draw into Group B with Canada, Finland and Norway. Look for Vanek and Grabner to play a spirited contest against Islanders captain John Tavares and Team Canada on Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time. The Austrians kick off the tournament Thursday against Team Finland at 3 a.m. (EST).
Read: Vanek and Grabner hoping for an Upset
|Michael Grabner (right) represented Austria at the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Division 1 Championships.|