Slovenia beats USA in men's hockey on first day

Slovenia beats USA in men's hockey on first day

The OAR hockey team will prove to be pretty formidable, as its made up of many KHL players such as a former NHL legends Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.

It is the first Winter Olympic men's hockey tournament in 24 years without NHL players.

The Olympic men's hockey tournament is set up like other worldwide tournaments but here, the 12 teams spread out over three groups, will play in a non-elimination group stage first, with the results determining seeding for the playoff bracket.

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. Kroselj stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced to pick up the victory, giving up goals to Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway. Across town, the favored Russians opened Olympic play with a 3-2 loss to Slovakia.

Tell me again why National Hockey League players are not competing? "I don't think it's hit me how I think it will later on in my life to be honest with you". The members of the current American team have been scattered across the globe and just found out on January 1 that they were on the team. I think it's an honor. I'm so excited. He's a warrior. "I hope I'm the first of many".

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In Wednesday's game, the US got goals from Brian O'Neill and Boston University's Jordan Greenway. He scored one goal in 19 games. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, he has been a consistent points producer wherever he has played.

Mursak played 25 games for Detroit in 2011-12 and two more in 2012-13. The U.S. netminder had very little chance to stop either deciding goal.

"That opportunity that they got is a lot of parallels to the opportunity we're getting today in this Olympics", forward Brian O'Neill said. With the Slovenia defense scrambled in their own zone, O'Neill got between the opposing defenders to pot Team USA's first goal of the tournament.

That has left teams to build their rosters from emerging local talent or from players in other professional leagues, largely from Europe. Greenway racked up 26 points on five goals and 21 assists in 39 games during his freshmen year, and followed that up with a 31-point campaign (10 goals and 21 assists) in 37 games during his sophomore season. But the USA likely has enough talent to open with a win. "The communication that we've had with these players, you can hear them shaking on the other end of the phone with excitement and anticipation and pride, and we're going to have to carry that over with how we play". Greenway is one of four collegiate players who will represent the United States in the tournament. "It always will be because of the work that he put in to bring us all together". "I think if you're a normal United States of America hockey player, you look at the 1980 team regardless, but us being in very similar situations, it definitely gives us a lot of motivation and inspiration".


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