GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) scored two goals and Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) collected three assists as the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team topped Slovakia, 5-1, here today in a qualification playoff game at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. With the win, the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team advances to the quarterfinal round, where it will face the Czech Republic tomorrow (Feb. 21).
“I thought we played a really solid game overall,” said Tony Granato, head coach of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. “It was great to see our guys get rewarded with some goals and I thought we were really good defensively today. We’ve got a short turnaround to get ready for a very good Czech Republic team and we look forward to the challenge."
Puck drop for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team’s (2-0-1-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) quarterfinal meeting tomorrow is set for 12:10 p.m. local time, making it a 10:10 p.m. ET start here today in the United States. That contest will be televised live on CNBC in addition to being live streamed on NBCOlympics.com.
The teams entered the first intermission still searching for the game’s first goal after a tight-checking opening 20 minutes. The best scoring chance for Team USA came from the stick of captain Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.) just over the midway point of the period. After forcing a turnover in the Slovakian zone, Gionta collected the puck in the slot and fired a slap that was blockered away by Jan Laco. Ryan Zapolski (Erie, Pa) stood tall with nine saves in the opening frame to keep the contest scoreless.
Donato opened the scoring for the United States 1:36 into the middle frame. The play started when Donato sprung Terry on a breakaway attempt from Team USA’s own blue line. Terry sped past a Slovakian defender and cut across the crease where his effort was poke checked away, resulting in a loose puck at the left faceoff dot that Donato one-timed into the top right corner.
After Slovakia was whistled for a pair of penalties, including a five-minute major, James Wisniewski (Canton, Mich.) doubled Team USA’s lead on the ensuing two-man advantage with a one-timer from the left faceoff dot just 43 seconds after Donato’s tally.
The U.S. then extended its lead to 3-0 at the 13:30 mark when Mark Arcobello (Milford, Conn.) converted a one-timer from the slot off a feed by Terry from behind the net. The assist marked Terry’s third of the period for the United States.
Slovakia got on the board on a power-play goal by Peter Ceresnak with 3:06 remaining in the second period to make it a 3-1 game after 40 minutes.
Halfway through the final period, Garrett Roe (Vienna, Va.) restored Team USA’s three-goal lead when he lifted a cross-crease pass from Broc Little (Phoenix, Ariz.) over a sprawling Laco.
Donato netted his second goal, this time on the power play, with a wrist shot from the left circle with 3:14 left to account for the 5-1 final.
Zapolski finished with 22 saves to earn his second Olympic victory.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot Slovakia, 33-23, went 2-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. For complete game statistics, click here … Alongside Granato, Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.), Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.), Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.) and Scott Young (Clinton, Mass.) are serving as assistant coaches … Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who unexpectedly passed away on Jan. 21, 2018, is the team’s general manager while Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) is the director of player personnel … The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team has captured two gold medals (1980, 1960), eight silver medals (2010, 2002, 1972, 1956, 1952, 1932, 1924, 1920) and one bronze medal (1936) all-time in Olympic play … USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. Olympic Teams ... For complete coverage of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, click here.
|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|