A wildly popular sport even without the Olympics as a platform, Olympic hockey is unique in that it involves not only male, but female teams as well. For the men, all 12 teams are put into three groups with the first and second place teams in each advancing. The eight advancing teams will then play another game to figure out the final four slots where a semi-final and final will be played. For the women, the four best teams start in Group A and then the bottom two from Group A play teams in Group B.
In this year’s field the Russians and Canadians are once again favored for both the men and women, but Sweden and the Czech Republic will also be looking to make a splash. Although the U.S. will be in the mix, it may take another “Miracle on Ice” for them to grab gold this year.