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U.S. Men's Select Team falls to Slovakia, 4-3, in a shootout

11/08/2013, 1:30pm EST
By USAHockey.com

MUNICH, Germany - Peter Mueller (Bloomington, Minn.) scored a goal and added an assist, while Dan Sexston (Apple Valley, Minn.) and Tim Stapleton (La Grange, Ill.) chipped in a goal each, but the U.S. Men's Select Team fell to Slovakia, 4-3, in a shootout here tonight.

"In general, I was pleased with how hard we played and how smart we played," said head coach Jack Parker. "It was the tale of two games. We played very well in the first two periods. We managed the puck very well and had some very good opportunities where we could have increased our lead. The third period we started a bit back on our heels and then took a couple penalties. They were able to score a couple goals on the power play and that was the difference."

The United States scored twice before the 10-minute mark of the opening period. Sexston converted for the game's first goal at 4:48 with help from Chris Connolly (Duluth, Minn.) and Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn.). Mueller set up Stapleton for a power-play tally three minutes later to give the U.S. a 2-0 advantage at the end of the first period.

The score stayed the same until Mueller broke through for an even-strength marker at 14:57 of the middle frame. Chris Bourque (Boston, Mass.) registered the lone assist on the play. Slovakia's Michal Sersen struck for a goal on a power play at 18:28 to cut the Team USA lead to 3-1 at the second intermission.

Sersen connected for his second power-play goal -- this time on a two-man advantage -- at 13:51 of the third period, and then Marcel Hossa scored at 17:28 to force overtime.

Neither team was able to end the game in the extra session, and Mueller, Stapleton and Shannon were all stopped in the shootout before Branko Radivojevic beat U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski (Erie, Pa.) to clinch the victory for Slovakia.

Zapolski finished with 31 saves, while counterpart Jan Laco turned away 32 of 35 U.S. shots. 

The U.S. Men's Select Team will play its second game of the 2013 Deutschland Cup tomorrow (Nov. 9) at 1:45 p.m. ET. against Switzerland.

Tag(s): Deutschland Cup