Hockey's Three Stars from Day 5 at the Olympics

Hockey's Three Stars from Day 5 at the Olympics

Hockey's Three Stars from Day 5 at the Olympics

When Greenway takes the ice in Pyeonchang, South Korea, he will break down a century-old barrier as he becomes the first African-American player to ever play for the U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey Team.

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 United States goalkeeper Ryan Zapolski.

Instead of skating confidently with a 2-0 lead built on early goals by Brian O'Neill and Boston University's Jordan Greenway, the Americans stopped moving in the third period and blinked.

Since the National Hockey League pulled out of the PyeongChang Olympics, the 25-man US roster is made up of players signed to overseas teams and college players.

Monique Lamoureux Morando of the U.S. in action Thursday Feb. 15 2018 against Marie Philip Poulin of Canada. David W Cerny  Reuters
Monique Lamoureux Morando of the U.S. in action Thursday Feb. 15 2018 against Marie Philip Poulin of Canada. David W Cerny Reuters

That said, with gold medal favorites Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation also falling in their first game to Slovakia, it appears that the top spot on the podium is still very much up for grabs. Slovenia finished seventh in Sochi, but now has a head start over the United States in group positioning.

National Hockey League owners had sent players to the Olympics since 1998 but money and injury issues pushed them not to shut down this season for players to compete, so most rosters are stocked from the KHL and other European circuits.

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

Both games were part of Group B action, and the group table looks far different than most would have expected, with Slovakia on top and the Russian team at the bottom.

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The U.S. men's hockey team doesn't have a monopoly on miracles that occur on Olympic ice.

After flashing the breakneck speed of forward Garrett Roe on O'Neill's goal and the quick reaction of Greenway on his rebound tally, the US suddenly looked gassed. The U.S. easily beat Slovenia back then with a 5-1 win in the final preliminary match ahead of the Olympic playoffs.

Team USA lost its Olympic opener in overtime, 3-2, to Slovenia on Wendesday. 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. Give them credit. All-in-all, I liked the way we played.

That led to an intense finish, with the Americans clinging to a one-goal lead and fending off Slovenia's advances until there was just 1:37 left to play, when Jan Mursak - a former Detroit Red Wings left wing - knotted things up with a score. He scored one goal in 19 games. "We got away from that in the third".

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Many questions have arisen on how the NHL-less Olympics will pan out. But the Americans' energy inexplicably flagged in the third, to the surprise of coach Tony Granato.

The US struck first late in the opening period when Garrett Roe kept a loose puck in the Slovenian zone, carried it behind the net and fed Brian O'Neill who was streaking into the slot.

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