Former Red Wing Burns US Men's Hockey Team In Olympic Opener

Former Red Wing Burns US Men's Hockey Team In Olympic Opener

He's the only Slovenian player with National Hockey League experience (46 career games with the Detroit Red Wings) and my, oh my, did he come up big against Team USA on Wednesday in their Olympic opener.

The United States men's ice hockey team dropped its first game of the Winter Olympics to Slovenia 3-2 in overtime. After being blanked in its first two games of the preliminary round, Griffin's accomplishment will prove to be a building block for the Korean hockey program. Looks like Slovenia has a new hockey hero.

However, the Americans were a heavy favorite against what is possibly the worst team in their group. Even though the USA holds an 11-4 shot total, Slovenia skated with them much of the period and, lest we forget, this one could be tied right now. All four have significant worldwide 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. "We need to be our best and play our best for two weeks to win this tournament", the coach added. If nothing else, this goal provided a feel-good moment.

While the US chose to go with a mostly experienced squad, four skaters now playing college hockey made the team: F Troy Terry (currently playing for defending NCAA champ Denver), F Jordan Greenway (Boston University), D Will Borgen (St. Cloud State) and F Ryan Donato (Harvard).

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

Canada and the USA are so far superior to the rest of the world, their rivalry so heated, that former Team Canada standout Cassie Campbell-Pascall could hardly be accused of exaggerating when she told the Orange County Register in Sochi: "This is the best rivalry in Olympic sport". But a goal by Mursak, who slipped the puck slip a puck past US goaltender Ryan Zapolski with one minute, 37 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.

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Even though Team USA led 2-0 heading into the third period, Slovenia powered back to tie the game with fewer than two minutes remaining in the final period. The Americans play the Slovaks.

- Speedskating: The women's 1,000 meters will be a key event to watch as reigning world champion Heather Bergsma represents the U.S.

All five players are making their Olympic debut at the Pyeongchang Games. He's pretty gritty, a power forward.

Only once has a team other than the USA or Canada made the Olympic or Worlds title games.

"I think we can show that we are a talented group of hockey players", Kolarik said. He collected a keepsake in the second period with a goal that gave Team USA a 2-0 lead. The team is in Group B, which also includes Slovakia and the Russian team.

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