Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men Preliminary Round Match - Slovakia v Olympic Athletes from Russia - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 14, 2018 - Peter Ceresnak of Slovakia (14) celebrates his third period goal with teammates on the bench.
By the end of the first 40 minutes, Team USA had attempted 24 shots on goal compared to just 12 for Slovenia, an indication that the Americans were about to cruise to an easy victory, as expected.
The Americans were in ideal shape through two periods, as Brian O'Neill gave them a 1-0 lead in the first, and Minnesota Wild forward prospect Jordan Greenway made it 2-0 in the second. After the US reached double-digits in number of shots taken, Brian O'Neill, a 29-year-old who plays in Finland, scored first for Team USA with just more than two minutes left in the first period.
For the United States, the loss represented a huge stumble out of the gate in the first quadrennial Olympic tournament played without National Hockey League players since 1994. The United States won two of the first three, but Canada now has won five straight against their biggest - and only - rival in the sport.
BC-OLY-HKO-Russia-Slovakia, 1st Ld-Writethru, 514Russian gold-medal favorites lose opening game to SlovakiaAP Photo OLYMH129, OLYMH128, OLYMH119, OLYMH117, OLYMH111, OLYMH120Eds: Updates with more detail, quotes.
After missing on a penalty shot and hitting a post late in the second, the Americans got on the board when Coyne raced through four Canadians and scored 23 seconds into the third period. That game has long inspired hope in Americans vying for a satisfying ending to an underdog hockey story.
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At age 20, Terry is the youngest player on the US squad.
Kroselj made a handful of quality saves to keep Slovenia in the game, and Zapolski had to do the same in the second period, stopping Urbas on a one-timer with Greenway in the box and the USA on the penalty kill.
Team USA now finds itself in a bit of a hole after losing to an opponent it probably should have defeated.
For 40 minutes things went swimmingly for the star-less US men's hockey team in its Olympic opener against Slovenia. He scored one goal in 19 games.
Team USA seemingly went into a defensive shell in the third period, however, and it cost them.
"We'll learn from this", O'Neill said.
The game-tying goal came with under two minutes remaining. We see professionals in other sports play for their countries all the time and it's done nothing but to help create stars and help expand the brand of the sport. Granato said fatigue and the hype of the game might have been a little too much for some of his players.