Slovenia rallies in regulation, wins in OT to shock United States

Slovenia rallies in regulation, wins in OT to shock United States

Slovenia rallies in regulation, wins in OT to shock United States

Despite leading the game 2-0 before the third period, the USA collapsed as Slovenia tied up the game with just 1:37 left to play.

That sounds good - to be anywhere near an NHL level of scoring with a ragtag group of non-NHL players is commendable - but considering the 2010 squad in Vancouver scored goals at a rate of 351 goals per 82 NHL games and the 2014 unit in Sochi was at 446 per 82 it is easy to see just how big a falloff we can expect in Pyeongchang with no NHL players.

A third-period goal by Peter Ceresnak gave Slovakia a shock 3-2 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation on Wednesday as the gold medal favorites squandered a two-goal lead.

The USA lost its opening round men's ice hockey game in the Olympics Wednesday morning against Slovenia, and things are off to a rough start.

"I thought we played two great periods", said USA coach Tony Granato. "He's doing his best to help us win". 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.

With captain Brian Gionta off for tripping, the US got a couple of scares when Slovenia hit the post early on the power play and then nearly scored moments later.

The U.S. had heavily outplayed Slovenia through the first 40 minutes and led 2-0 entering the third.

Vladislav Gavrikov and Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov both scored early in the first, but Peter Olvecky and Martin Bakos erased the deficit with goals late in the first. "Definitely something that I'll remember forever". Ryan Donato also assisted on the play. As Mursak's shot went past goaltender Ryan Zapolski, U.S. players hung their heads on the bench before Slovenia players celebrated with their fans. Welch redeemed himself by somehow extending his body for a dramatic diving save to keep the 1-0 lead. This will be the first time in five Winter Olympic cycles that we will not see pros from the National Hockey League take to the ice and represent their countries. "I'm proud of the team and hopefully we can start looking to the next game and surprise somebody else".

Monique Lamoureux Morando of the U.S. in action Thursday Feb. 15 2018 against Marie Philip Poulin of Canada. David W Cerny  Reuters
Monique Lamoureux Morando of the U.S. in action Thursday Feb. 15 2018 against Marie Philip Poulin of Canada. David W Cerny Reuters

Canada thought briefly 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.

The Americans didn't come out with any spark in the third period.

In the five-minute, sudden-death overtime, Slovenia scored in less than a minute to end the game.

Blaz Gregorc, who had a goal and an assist for Slovenia, fired shot on goal from the point.

Zapolski would finish with 22 saves on 25 shots.

The Russians have major question marks on defense and in goal, but they still have the most talented group of forwards in the tournament. At the 2014 Games, the US lost in the bronze-medal game. "It could've been a little fatigue just set in mentally because of the way that the day was".

Team USA seemingly went into a defensive shell in the third period, however, and it cost them.

In the second game, the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation lost to Slovakia by giving up a two-goal lead.

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