U.S. hockey team wins first game in Olympics, 7-1 against Slovakia



SOCHI, Russia -- Bring on the Russians.

That was the message Team USA sent loud and clear -- no translation needed -- with a six-goal second period in a 7-1 dismantling of Slovakia on Thursday afternoon at Shayba Arena.

Next door at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, Russia had a little bit more trouble with Slovenia but ultimately prevailed, 5-2, setting up a titanic clash on Saturday that will likely determine which team emerges from Group A to the quarterfinals.

The Americans, who have never medaled in the Olympics outside of North America, made it seem like they've been playing on the wider international ice surface their entire lives.

After Slovakia tied the score at 1-1 with a Tomas Tatar goal 24 seconds into the second period -- replays showed that Slovakia was likely offsides -- the United States responded with six goals in 14 minutes.

Ryan Kesler, Paul Stastny (two), David Backes, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown did the damage, giving goalie Jonathan Quick more breathing room than any netminder could ask for.

Kessel led the Americans with one goal and two assists.

At the buzzer, chants of "U-S-A!" rang out from the crowd of 4,119. The players aren't the only ones ready for Russia.


J. Brady McCollough: bmccollough@post-gazette.com and Twitter @BradyMcCollough.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement

Latest in Olympics

Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here