Winter Olympics 2014: Austrian hockey team partied hard before losing to Slovenia

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Austria's 4-0 loss to Slovenia wasn't a huge shock in the qualifying round, but it was a disappointing result for the Austrians, and it seems that hard partying may have contributed to the listless effort.

SB Nation 2014 Winter Olympic Coverage

Normally when a team at the level of Austria in men's hockey loses in the qualifying round, there isn't much fuss made about it. Getting one win in the Olympic Games would normally be considered a good performance for a country that's fifteenth in the world, but that's not the case this year.

Allegations have come out that the Austrian men's team was partying through the night -- some as late as 6 a.m. --before their qualifying round loss to Slovenia, a game that they dropped 4-0 and in which they were outshot 35-30  despite trailing for 54:31 of regulation.

Given the way Slovenia played above and beyond expectations in the tournament, it is difficult to say that this result is entirely indicative of a team that partied way too hard. That said, the Austrian head coach Manny Viveiros is extremely disappointed with his players, especially the three NHLers; Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner, and Michael Raffl.

Eurohockey.com had more details, including quotes from Viveiros:

Viveiros who trusted his team fully and who didn't want to babysit them as they are grown men and professional athletes added: "I had no idea about it. 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."

It is not yet clear how many players were involved but Viveiros let no doubt that "there will be consequences" and "we will publish their names in the next days."

Viveiros is especially disappointed by Thomas Vanek who he made team captain. According to ÖEHV (Austrian Ice Hockey Federation) president Dieter Kalt: "He also chose Vanek as team captain to have an experienced player and this obviously went wrong". The star forward of the New York Islanders and his NHL colleagues Michael Grabner and Michael Raffl apologized in a letter for their behaviour.

The allegations are fairly shocking, even for a team with minimal expectations.

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