Norway’s Mats Zuccarello knows Norway isn’t a favorite at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He also knows his team will have quite the battle on their hands to open the Games on Thursday against Canada.
Zuccarello tells Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com what it will take for his country to surprise people during the tournament.
“We’ll have to be sharp in every aspect of the game,” said Zuccarello, entering his second Olympics. “We have to play a team game and compete together. We’re in the Olympics with everyone else. We’re here to do our best and we’ll see what happens after that.”
If there’s inspiration for Norway to draw on in these Olympics, it’s what they did during the World Championships in 2000 when they upset Canada 4-3 in Russia. The team has had more success recently at the 2011 Worlds when they upset Sweden 5-4 in a shootout.
Strange things can happen at the Olympics, but Zuccarello nailed it. To be successful they’ll have to be close to perfect.