Spirited play by the Slovenians might not have been the only factor that played into Austria’s underwhelming performance in its final game of the 2014 Winter Olympic hockey tournament.
After knocking off Norway 3-1 Sunday in the final game of the preliminary round, the Austrians went wild, partying at Austria House in the Olympic Village and a nearby club until 6 a.m.
The Austrians were eliminated from the tournament two days later with a 4-0 loss to Slovenia. One Team Austria official said the team “appeared knocked out” on the ice in the elimination game, and after catching wind of Monday night’s celebration, head coach Manny Viveiros was furious.
“I had no idea about it,” Viveiros said, via EuroHockey.com. “I was shocked. We knew the players went there (Austria House) to eat something. But it was planned that they return to their rooms right afterwards.”
Viveiros said he plans to release the full list of players involved in the coming days and discipline, but word has gotten out that the team’s three NHL players — Michael Raffl, Michael Grabner and captain Thomas Vanek — all were among the late-night revelers. The players apologized for their actions but said they didn’t believe the partying affected their play.
“We are of the opinion that this did not affect the disappointing team performance at the playoff against Slovenia,” the three NHLers said in a translated joint statement, “but we are aware of our role as role models and should have move(d) the celebrations (to) the evening after our last (game).”
Photo via Twitter/@TheHockeyWriter
Photo of the day
Tweet of the day
Apparently, they’re not that bad.
[tweet https://twitter.com/LandonWatnick/status/436327364415750144 align=’center’]
Video of the day
Here’s how it happened.