The US men's Olympic hockey team opened in style scoring six straight second-period goals en route to 7-1 win over team Slovakia. John Carlson of the Washington Capitals from Colonia New Jersey, opened the scoring at 14:27 of the first period, on a drop pass from Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Madison Wisconsin, beating Slovakian goaltender Jaroslav Halak high blocker to start the onslaught. Slovakia's Tomas Tatar, tied the score at 1 just 24 seconds into the second period. That was when Team USA took control of the game. They responded with goals that 1:26 at 2:32 of the second when Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo New York, laid it on a tee for Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Livonia Michigan, giving Team USA a 2 -1 lead. A little over a minute later Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Missouri, buried a rebound off the stick of Max Patcioretty of the Montréal Canadiens and New Canaan Connecticut, giving the US a 3-1 lead and they never looked back. Team USA then made it 4-1 when David Backus of Minneapolis Minnesota and the St. Louis Blues, knocked in a bouncing puck at the 8:16 mark of the second period. Team USA blew the game open with three goals in a 2:47 span of the second period. Stastny scored his second goal of the game followed by a Kessel redirection of the James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Middletown New Jersey, shot and Dustin Brown of the LA Kings and Ithaca New York, finished off the scoring giving Team USA a 7-1 lead at the end of two periods. Both teams cruised the rest of the way. Team USA dominated from start to finish over matching the Slovakian's in sending starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the bench. Goaltender Jonathan Quick of the LA Kings and Milford Connecticut, stopped 22 of 23 shots for the win. Team USA has tomorrow off before facing the host country Russia on Saturday morning. That game can be viewed on NBCSN. Team USA picked up where they left off in the 2010 Olympics and for the competition that will not be good. With Team USA's balanced scoring and speed they will be a tough opponent for whoever they may face. Notes the healthy scratches for Team USA were Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes from St. Paul Minnesota, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings from Ogdensburg New York, Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers and Hastings Minnesota.
February 13, 2014