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Czech forward Patrik Elias to miss qualification game against Slovakia

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The Czech Republic will battle for a spot in the men's hockey quarterfinal's on Tuesday at noon (ET) against Slovakia, but they will do so without Patrik Elias.

According to Zdenek Janda or, the Czech forward took part in Monday's practice but will sit out of today's qualification game due to the same ilness that kept him sidelined on Saturday against Switzerland.

The 37-year-old winger has been a huge contributor in the NHL this season playing in his 16th season with the New Jersey Devils, collecting 11 goals and 22 assists in 44 games. Unfortunately for Elias, his third Olympic appearance with the Czech national team hasn't gone as well.

In his first game against Sweden, Elias recorded one shot on goal and registered his first and only point of the tournament. Two days later he was held scoreless in the Czech win over Latvia which may or may not have been his final game of the 2014 Winter Games.

The winner of today's game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia will face the United States on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

It's been a battle for the Czech's up to this point and despite his lack of production, the task at hand later today will prove to be even harder without Elias in the lineup. The three-time Olympian has likely skated in his last game in Sochi but don't be so sure that you've seen the last of him in an Olympic setting.

Elias will be 41-years-old in the 2018 South Korea Olympic Games, which is still young for the Czech team who currently packs two 42-year-old veterans in Petr Nedved and Jaromir Jagr.

We already know Jagr, who celebrated his birthday last weekend, plans to be there.


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