US Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Preview and Prediction: USA vs. Slovenia

14 February, 2018, 19:21 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Gionta gears up for games

Then, after pulling their goalie, Slovenia tied things up late on the strength of a Jan Mursak goal. Goals from Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway helped the Americans build a 2-0 lead.

He's a former NHL star, the captain of the United States Men's Ice Hockey Team, and a Rochester native, and Brian Gionta is now ready to represent our area all the way in PyeongChang.

In the 3-on-3 overtime, Mursak got free on the doorstep and scored high over American goalie Ryan Zapolski less than a minute into the extra frame.

Up next for the Americans is Slovakia in another preliminary game.

The tying goal came with the Slovenia net empty.

Slovenia, ranked 15th by the International Ice Hockey Federation, got on the board in the third period when Blaz Gregorc threaded a wrist shot through a crowd in front of US goalkeeper Ryan Zapolski.

Afterward, the USA lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals, and Canada was able to advance to the gold medal game by beating the Czech Republic. United States of America clearly made a decision to nap out there today and that cost them big time. All four have significant global experience, but Terry is probably the most recognizable name as he was the hero who scored the shootout-winning goal in the gold medal game at last year's World Junior Championships.

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Blaz Gregorc, who had a goal and an assist for Slovenia, fired shot on goal from the point.

The United States could be poised to finally end Canada's run of four straight Olympic gold medals, with Wednesday's game serving as a litmus test for where both teams stand entering the medal round.

After a feeling-out period in the first few minutes and American defenseman Noah Welch sliding in front of a wide-open net for the save of the game, the US began drawing penalties with its speed and then found a way to cash in.

Returning to the lineup later in the season, he had trouble finding any playing time, the Red Wings put him on waivers and Mursak signed with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL.

Of course, it's an upset for the U.S. Even without National Hockey League players on the team they were expected to beat Slovenia.

The U.S. faces Slovakia next in a 9:10 p.m. CST start Thursday.

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