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lakeelmoleader.com February 17, 2018


Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenia claim first ice hockey win over USA

14 February 2018, 07:05 | Marlene Fleming

Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenia claim first ice hockey win over USA

Willie Desjardins

Team USA only had five practices together before opening the tournament but chemistry didn't seem to be an issue as the Americans generated plenty of scoring chances. Both goals were scored when the US failed to clear the front of the net. A part of Yugoslavia until 1991, Slovenia did not qualify for an Olympic ice hockey tournament until 2014 but finished a respectable seventh in Sochi. First, here's Slovenia's game-tying goal late in the third 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.

Blaz Gregorc scored early in the third period for Slovenia to cut the America's lead in half. The U.S., playing with National Hockey League players, beat Slovenia 5-1, at Sochi, in 2014.

Jordan Greenway buried a loose puck from in tight at 12:57 of the middle frame as the US took a two-goal lead. But a goal by Mursak, who slipped the puck slip a puck past USA goaltender Ryan Zapolski with one minute, 37 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.

The three Boston College students on Team USA are Cayla Barnes, Kali Flanagan and Megan Keller - all defensemen.

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This time, the pass made it through, and Mursak beat Zapolski on the stick side, to win the game. Though the USA women are defending world champs, the Canadians bring a 22-game Olympic winning streak into the contest.

"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.

The Swedish men make their Olympic debut, and besides Rasmus Dahlin (the likely No. 1 pick of the 2018 NHL Draft) another Swede's name caught my eye: Carl Klingberg, the older brother of Dallas Stars defenseman and Norris Trophy candidate John Klingberg. He's pretty gritty, a power forward.

Oh, and here is John Klingberg's prediction for the tournament: "I think Russian Federation is going to be the favorite, but I think Sweden has the slight favorite over Canada and the U.S. But there are always five teams that are going to fight it out". Switzerland prevailed from group B and will face the fourth-place Group A team in the quarterfinals.



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