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Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenia claim first ice hockey win over USA

Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenia claim first ice hockey win over USA

The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang will be the first since 1994 not to feature a men's ice hockey tournament stocked with NHL players.

Jan Mursak tied the game late in third period and tallied the game victor in overtime as Slovenia took down the United States in the opening game of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Slovenia, ranked 15th by the International Ice Hockey Federation, got on the board in the third period when Blaz Gregorc threaded a wrist shot through a crowd in front of U.S. goalkeeper Ryan Zapolski.

Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway, who became the first African-American hockey player for the U.S.at an Olympics, scored to build the 2-0 lead in a dominant showing, and the shots were 24-12 after two periods. Ceresnak's slap shot from the point found twine to capitalize on a power play and give his team a third-period lead against the gold-medal favorites.

That makes OAR a serious threat to win gold despite the opening loss, provided it can get back on track against Slovenia and the United States to close out Group B play.

Since 2013 he has been playing mostly in Russia's KHL with CSKA Moscow.

After missing on a penalty shot and hitting a post late in the second, the Americans got on the board when Coyne raced through four Canadians and scored 23 seconds into the third period.

Up next for the Americans is Slovakia in another preliminary game.




At the very least, the USA earned a point in the overtime loss.

It was a come-from-behind victory for Slovenia, who trailed the Americans until the 46th minute, when Blaž Gregorc scored to reduce the US lead to 2-1.

The U.S. did look strong in the first two periods, outshooting Slovenia 11-3 in the first and 13-9 in the second.

Team USA has a lot of work to do now that they're already facing some pressure after just one game in the round robin tournament.

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.

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

"Once we scored the first goal we really started to fly on the ice", Mursak told NBC's Pierre McGuire after the game. "We just come out here and give it our all and have fun", said Mursak, the lone Slovenian player with National Hockey League experience, with a scant 46 appearances for the Detroit Red Wings from 2010-13. Many spent stints in the NHL - five games here, 10 more there - before turning to a journeyman career in European leagues. Look for Terry and the second line to come out even stronger in the second game and hopefully turn their great chances into a few goals. But no excuses. They were the better team in the third and it was good enough for them to get the win.


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