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US Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Preview and Prediction: USA vs. Slovenia

14 February, 2018, 19:10 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Willie Desjardins

Both teams enter the matchup 2-0, with wins over Finland and the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation.

The first marquee game of the Olympic ice hockey slate concludes Wednesday's schedule in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The United States could be poised to finally end Canada's run of four straight Olympic gold medals, with Wednesday's game serving as a litmus test for where both teams stand entering the medal round. 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.

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Kroselj made a handful of quality saves to keep Slovenia in the game, and Zapolski had to do the same in the second period, stopping Urbas on a one-timer with Greenway in the box and the U.S. on the penalty kill. Kroselj stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced to pick up the victory, giving up goals to Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway.

Blaz Gregorc scored early in the third period for Slovenia to cut the America's lead in half. Lamoureux's twin sister Jocelyne touched off an even larger brawl in a December 4-1 USA win in Grand Forks, N.D. When it was all over the referee had handed out 10 fighting majors and there were six US players in the penalty box, five Canadians.

Jordan Greenway buried a loose puck from in tight at 12:57 of the middle frame as the USA took a two-goal lead.

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Jan Mursak struck the victor just 38 seconds into overtime as Slovenia recovered from trailing 2-0 midway through the second period.

The three Boston College students on Team USA are Cayla Barnes, Kali Flanagan and Megan Keller - all defensemen. Though the USA women are defending world champs, the Canadians bring a 22-game Olympic winning streak into the contest. He's pretty gritty, a power forward.

A shout out to New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller for calling it like it is on Twitter.

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That has left teams to build their rosters from emerging local talent or from players in other professional leagues, largely from Europe. Switzerland prevailed from group B and will face the fourth-place Group A team in the quarterfinals. Did we mention that she's only 19 years old?

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