United States Hockey Team Allows Slovenians to Believe in Miracles
14 February, 2018, 19:20 | Author: John Swanson
Then, after pulling their goalie, Slovenia tied things up late on the strength of a Jan Mursak goal.
The United States had a 2-0 lead entering the third period thanks to goals by Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway.
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After a feeling-out period in the first few minutes and American defenseman Noah Welch sliding in front of a wide-open net for the save of the game, the US began drawing penalties with its speed and then found a way to cash in. He scored one goal in 19 games.
But will little time left in the game Wednesday, Mursak lingered toward the front of the United States goal crease, near goalie Ryan Zapolski.
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USA coach Tony Granato showed a lot of trust in Greenway by having him center the top line with Ryan Stoa and captain Brian Gionta on his wings. It became razor thin 5:49 into the third when Gregorc beat Zapolski to get Slovenia on the board.
The U.S. defenseman Matt Gilroy blocked an initial pass from Rok Ticar to Mursak.
Russia, by the way, might have not only lose the game but a player for at least a game - Per IIHF source Nikita Nesterov's hit in the 1st period will be reviewed by disciplinary committee. "It's a good team, I'll give them credit".
As for Slovenia, Jan Mursak played 46 games for the Detroit Red Wings from 2010-13, scoring two goals in his National Hockey League career. He scored his first goal against the Avalanche, January 10, 2011.
Returning to the lineup later in the season, he had trouble finding any playing time, the Red Wings put him on waivers and Mursak signed with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL. The Americans outshot Slovenia 11-3 in the first period. A part of Yugoslavia until 1991, Slovenia did not qualify for an Olympic ice hockey tournament until 2014 but finished a respectable seventh in Sochi.
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.
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