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U.S. Men Storm Past Slovakia, 7-1

02/13/2014, 9:30am EST
By USAHockey.com

SOCHI, Russia -- The. U.S. Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team scored six straight second-period goals to surge past Slovakia, 7-1, in its opening game of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Shayba Arena. Eleven players had at least a point, including Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche), who scored twice, and Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./Toronto Maple Leafs), who had a goal and two assists.

At 14:27 of the first period, John Carlson (Colonia, N.J./Washington Capitals) staked Team USA to a 1-0 lead on a pinpoint slap shot from the right circle. Kessel led a three-on-two break down the right side before leaving a drop pass for Carlson to blast over goalie Jaroslav Halak’s blocker.

Slovakia’s Tomas Tatar tied the game, 1-1, on a wrister just 24 ticks into the second period.

Team USA responded quickly with goals at 1:26 and 2:32. First, Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./Chicago Blackhawks) fed Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich./Vancouver Canucks) for a one-timer from the right circle. Then, Stastny buried a rebound after Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn./Montreal Canadiens) nearly scored a moment earlier.

David Backes (Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Blues) swatted a bouncing puck through Halak at 8:16, stretching the lead to three goals.

The U.S. advantage ballooned to 7-1 with a three-goal spree in a 2:47 span. Stastny tallied his second of the game by tipping a cross-ice pass from Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y./St. Louis Blues) past Halak at 13:30. Kessel redirected a James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./Toronto Maple Leafs) pass into the net at 14:20 and Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./Los Angeles Kings) converted a Carlson feed at 15:17.

There was no scoring in the third period.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick (Milford, Conn./Los Angeles Kings) stopped 22-of-23 shots for the win.

After a day off tomorrow, Team USA faces home-standing Russia on Saturday (Feb. 15) at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. ET and can be viewed live on NBC Sports Network.

Date Result Opponent
Thurs., Feb. 13 W, 7-1 Slovakia
Sat., Feb. 15 W, 3-2 (SO) Russia
Sun., Feb. 16 W, 5-1 Slovenia
Wed., Feb. 19 W, 5-2 Czech Republic (Quarterfinals)
Fri., Feb. 21 L, 0-1 Canada (Semifinals)
Sat., Feb. 22 L, 0-5 Finland (Bronze Medal Game)

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