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

14 February, 2018, 19:03 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Shiori Koike celebrates with Akane Hosoyamada, of Japan after scoring a goal against the combined Koreas during the third period of the preliminary round of the women's hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung South Korea Wednesday Feb

Mursak, a Red Wings draft pick who played for the team for parts of three seasons, scored the game-tying goal late in the third and then netted the game-winner in overtime to lift Slovenia to a surprising 3-2 win over the USA on Wednesday morning.

Since the inaugural Women's World Hockey Championships in 1990 every tournament has been won by either the US or Canada. Slovenia's Blaz Gregorc cut the deficit in half with a little over 14 minutes left in regulation.

The three Boston College students on Team USA are Cayla Barnes, Kali Flanagan and Megan Keller - all defensemen. Team Canada has taken the last four Olympic gold medals, with the US winning the 1998 Games.

Team USA's next preliminary round game will be against Slovakia at 10:10 p.m ET Thursday night in the United States (12:10 p.m. on Friday in PyeongChang).

"It was exciting to get my first, but it would have been much better to get a win tonight", said Greenway, one of four American college players in the US team.

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That has left teams to build their rosters from emerging local talent or from players in other professional leagues, largely from Europe.

With captain Brian Gionta off for tripping, the USA got a couple of scares when Slovenia hit the post early on the power play and then nearly scored moments later. He had 49 goals and 74 assists for 123 points in 186 KHL games, entering this season. 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. A 2-0 lead, on goals by Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway, didn't really seem to do Team USA's performance total justice as Slovenia didn't get a lot going in their offensive zone.

Greenway corralled a loose puck on the side of the goal, had an open net and buried it.

Forward Garret Roe made a nifty pass from behind the net to set up Brian O'Neil at 14:44 of the opening period to give United States of America a 1-0 lead.

Goals from Jan Urbas and Mursak in the third period sent the tie into overtime. Brian O'Neill from Garrett Roe and Ryan Donato.

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