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GAMEDAY: U.S. Men Face Slovakia in Qualification Round

By, 02/19/18, 6:00AM EST


Puck drop set for 10:10 p.m. ET on NBCSN

For the second time in four days, the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team will face Slovakia. Opening faceoff for today’s qualification round contest is set for 12:10 p.m. local time (10:10 p.m. ET on Feb. 19) and the game will be broadcast live on NBCSN and streamed live at

Today’s game is do-or-die with the winner advancing to play the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. and the loser going home.

"We're excited to play," said U.S. Head Coach Tony Granato. "We'll need to use our speed to our advantage and work hard to create traffic in front of their net. We know what's at stake and we'll be ready."

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team is 2-0-0-1-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) all-time against Slovakia at the Olympics. The teams met in the preliminary round of the 2018 Olympic tournament on Feb. 16 with the U.S. earning a 2-1 victory. Ryan Donato scored two power play goals for the U.S. and Ryan Zapolski made 21 saves.

USA vs. Slovakia Series History

Date                        Round                       Result                        GF-GA
2/16/18                    Preliminary                 W                                2-1
2/13/14                    Preliminary                 W                                7-1
2/18/06                    Preliminary                  L                                1-2
2/15/94                    Preliminary                  T                                3-3
TOTALS                    --                               1-0-0-1-1                    13-6


U.S. forward Ryan Stoa (Bloomington, Minn.), who played college hockey at the University of Minnesota, is competing in his first Olympic Winter Games. He plays professionally for Spartak in the KHL. Stoa says his 10U coach Dave Dillon and his high school coach Todd Kennedy have been big influences in his career.

“Dave really taught me about work ethic when I was younger and that continues to be important in my career today. Todd told me to earn it. I was a younger guy playing with older players on my high school team and he wanted to make sure I earned the opportunity to be there.”

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2018 U.S. Men's Olympic Schedule

Date Opponent Round Result Venue
Wed., Feb. 14 Slovenia Preliminary OTL, 2-3 Kwandong Hockey Centre
Fri., Feb. 16 Slovakia Preliminary W, 2-1 Gangneung Hockey Centre
Sat., Feb. 17 Olympic Athletes From Russia Preliminary L, 0-4 Gangneung Hockey Centre
Tues., Feb. 20 Slovakia Qualification W, 5-1 Gangneung Hockey Centre
Wed., Feb 21 Czech Republic Quarterfinals SOL, 2-3 Gangneung Hockey Centre

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