USA men's hockey team drop Olympic opener

USA men's hockey team drop Olympic opener

The Olympic men's hockey tournament has opened with a pair of surprises, with both the Americans and the favored Russians losing 3-2.

The only player on the roster with National Hockey League experience tied the game late in the third period and netted the game victor in OT as Slovenia erased a two-goal deficit and defeated the United States, 3-2.

Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men Preliminary Round Match - Slovakia v Olympic Athletes from Russia - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 14, 2018 - Peter Ceresnak of Slovakia (14) celebrates his third period goal with teammates on the bench.

The Americans would not get a shot on goal in the quick extra frame, as Mursak netted the game victor for Slovenia 38 seconds into overtime to wrap up a three-goal comeback. Kroselj stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced to pick up the victory, giving up goals to Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway.

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 favourites squandered a two-goal lead. But that path would require beating two superior teams on back-to-back days next week just to make the semifinals and earn head coach Tony Granato's charges a chance to play for a medal.

Former NHL players Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk anchor the team along with numerous top players from the KHL, which is widely considered the No. 2 professional league in the world.

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

US coach Robb Stauber started Maddie Rooney, his youngest goalie with all three of the USA wins against Canada.

With some pressure on, after a penalty to USA captain Brian Gionta, Slovenia pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.

Team USA looked tired in the third period during its disapointing loss to Slovenia.

When the 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off their Men's Ice Hockey competition on Wednesday there was be a huge gaping void at the Gangneung Hockey Center and Kwandong Hockey Center.

"I'm proud of my guys, I'm proud of the team", said Mursak, who played sporadically with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings between 2010 and 2012.

Signs were looking good too, as the team doubled up Slovenia in the shot count 24-12 after two periods of play. "We just didn't do it for a full three periods".

"Once we scored the first goal we really started to fly on the ice", Mursak told NBC's Pierre McGuire after the game. We see professionals in other sports play for their countries all the time and it's done nothing but to help create stars and help expand the brand of the sport.

While Granato's words sound great in theory, the United States did not match Slovenia's tempo in the third period.

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