The Czechs will not begin the Olympic men’s hockey tournament with their best-known goaltender in the crease — or even in uniform.

In a surprise decision, Ondrej Pavelec will be a healthy scratch for his country when the Czech team opens the tournament against Team Sweden Wednesday.

Instead, Team Czech will dress 25-year-old Jakub Kovar and 27-year-old Alexander Salak.

Both Kovar and Salak are standouts in the Kontinental Hockey League. Kovar has posted a 19-15 record with six shutouts and a 1.91 goals-against average for Yekaterinburg Automobilist. Salak enters the Olympic break with a 17-10 record, a 1.86 goals-against average and three shutouts for St. Petersburg SKA.