U.S. edges Slovakia in men's hockey 2-1 at 2018 Winter Olympics


U.S. edges Slovakia in men's hockey 2-1 at 2018 Winter Olympics

Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway, who became the first African-American hockey player for the U.S.at an Olympics, scored to build the 2-0 lead in a dominant showing, and the shots were 24-12 after two periods.

There were smiles, laughs and enthusiastic goal celebrations.

In the early going, everything seemed to be going the right way for the Americans.

After a 2-1 win against Slovakia on Friday, the U.S. hockey team faces a rough assignment Saturday when it takes on the team with "Olympic Athlete from Russia" on their sweaters in what, all things considered, has to be the weirdest U.S. -Russia hockey game in memory.

The Americans also found success with their power play on Friday with Harvard's Ryan Donato scoring both of the team's goals on the advantage. "For 40 minutes, we proved that we're a pretty unsafe team". "We haven't played a whole lot of hockey as a team together".

Could the defense hold strong in game 2? "It could've been a little fatigue just set in mentally because of the way that the day was".

That can't happen against Slovakia, which upset the favored Russians in regulation across town.

Donato, whose dad Ted starred for the USA team that finished fourth at the 1992 Games in Albertville, is one of four American players who are still in college, while the others either play professionally in Europe or in the American Hockey League.

Olympic Athlete from Russia Ilya Kovalchuk and Noah Welch of U.S. clash during Saturday's preliminary game. Brian Snyder  Reuters
Olympic Athlete from Russia Ilya Kovalchuk and Noah Welch of U.S. clash during Saturday's preliminary game. Brian Snyder Reuters

"The experience we gained from losing that lead in game one was we had to play differently tonight". We don't have to overplay anybody. "After we scored that first goal, I think we really got that extra energy and the feeling that can score some more". Datsyuk, 39, is now an equal, and the competition as the U.S. and the Russian team face off Saturday in their final contest of group play before seeding is decided for the elimination tournament.

The U.S. had chances, however.

"The first game was big for me just to get a couple shifts and realize that I belong here", Terry explained. "We've got to get more bodies to the net. So it's good for us to learn from that third period". "When we're up, what's our mentality going to be?"

Unlike against Slovenia, USA did not sit back with the lead.

Our strength as a team is in our speed, so in order to be successful we need to win our races to loose pucks and get in on the fore check.

Terry drew a boarding penalty later in the first period, but the USA was unable to capitalize. Now it's about harnessing it and not letting it run out. "We're just trying to have every impact we can for the team".

Canada thought it had the first goal of the game with 3:15 left in the first period, but Melodie Daoust and captain Marie-Philip Poulin were in the crease with the play blown dead. We're not the biggest team. "We took a step forward". "We have to rely on that quickness and hound pucks and making it be hard to play against us".

Zapolski allowed three goals on 25 shots, including the first goal by Jan Urbas.