Slovenian ice hockey team opens Olympics with upset over US


Mursak scored the game victor for Slovenia 38 seconds into the overtime period to beat the US men's hockey team, 3-2, in their first game of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Jan Mursak scored the tying goal in the final minutes of regulation and the victor in overtime as Slovenia came back to stun the United States 3-2 in the Olympic opener for both teams. As Mursak's shot went past goaltender Ryan Zapolski, U.S. players hung their heads on the bench before Slovenia players celebrated with their fans.

Slovenia took just three shots in the first period but continued to create more chances for itself as the game progressed.

Two Olympic hockey Goliaths were taken to their knees in the first day of men's play in Gangneung, as the odds-on favourite to win gold (Russia) and the United States were toppled during the event's first two preliminary contests on Wednesday. The Russians were widely considered the pre-tournament favorite for the gold medal. Greenway is one of four collegiate players who will represent the United States in the tournament. In four cases, players were pulled from their NCAA teams and classes to compete for their country, hearkening to the most famous of U.S. Olympic triumphs: the 1980 "Miracle on Ice".

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

After a feeling-out period in the first few minutes and American defenseman Noah Welch sliding in front of a wide-open net for the save of the game, the USA began drawing penalties with its speed and then found a way to cash in. Instead of Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews, the led by captain Brian Gionta and a cast of former NHLers, including Chris Bourque, Mark Arcobello and James Wisniewski among them.

The 2018 Winter Olympics have not begun, yet Jordan Greenway is already set to make U.S. Olympic history.

Team USA now finds itself in a bit of a hole after losing to an opponent it probably should have defeated. Through 22 games, Greenway is fourth on the Terriers in points with eight goals and 10 assists. Give them credit. All-in-all, I liked the way we played.

Mursak, who now plays for Frolunda HC in the Swedish Hockey League, was selected by the Red Wings in the sixth round of the 2006 NHL Draft.

That uncertainty remains present, as Team USA fell 3-2 to unheralded Slovenia in overtime. But no excuses. They were the better team in the third and it was good enough for them to get the win. "So it's good for us to learn from that third period".

Many questions have arisen on how the NHL-less Olympics will pan out.

No kidding. "That third period", O'Neill said, "is something we need to learn from".

While Granato's words sound great in theory, the United States did not match Slovenia's tempo in the third period.