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Eddie Olczyk 'Honored' to Represent Brother Rice, Blackhawks at Olympics

By Justin Breen | February 17, 2014 8:36am
 Brother Rice High School graduate Eddie Olczyk is the lead men's hockey color commentator for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Olczyk also is the Blackhawks' color commentator and a former NHL player and head coach.
Eddie Olczyk
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CHICAGO — Eddie Olczyk, who has spent a lifetime playing and watching hockey, said Saturday's Russia-Team USA Olympics game was one of the best he's ever seen.

"Probably top 5. If it was a medal game, probably top 3, just because of the way the game ended," Olczyk, NBC's main hockey analyst for the 2014 Sochi Games, emailed DNAinfo Chicago of the Americans' 3-2 shootout victory, in which T.J. Oshie scored on four of his six attempts in the shootout.

Olczyk, a Brother Rice High School graduate, former Chicago Blackhawks star and current Hawks analyst, said covering the Olympics is a "great honor" but also a lot of work. He's broadcasting two games a day and noted he doesn't "have a lot of free time."

The men's elimination round begins Tuesday, with the second-seeded Americans facing the winner of the game between seventh-seeded Czech Republic and 10th-seeded Slovakia in Wednesday's quarterfinals. Team USA already defeated Slovakia 7-1 and Slovenia 5-1 on its way to a 3-0 record in the qualification round.

Olczyk, a Chicago native who played for Team USA in 1984, said the Americans' offensive depth and "great strength in goal" will be key in the elimination round. Olczyk also believes Blackhawks star Patrick Kane will serve a key role.

"I would expect Kane to step up on the biggest stage, as he has in the past," Olczyk said.

But Olczyk wouldn't tip his hand on who he thinks will win the gold medal.

"I'm not sure just yet," he said. "There are a lot of very good teams competing in these Games."