Feb. 13, 2014
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 former Badgers Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, and Ryan McDonagh all saw their first ice time of the 2014 Olympics. Derek Stepan was not in the lineup. Pavelski managed four shots on goal, tied for the most on Team U.S.A.
“I really like the way we played,” said Dan Bylsma, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. “We had a lot of guys contribute offensively and balanced scoring is important. It was a fun atmosphere here today and I couldn’t be more impressed with the job done by everyone involved with all aspects of the Olympics so far. It’s been fantastic."
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.
NOTES: For today's box score, plus video highlights and photos, click here ... The six second-period goals tied the modern (since 1956) U.S. Men's Olympic Team record for goals in a period … Dustin Brown and John Carlson each tallied their first career goal in the Olympics … Jonathan Quick earned a win in his Olympic debut in the U.S. net … Ryan Kesler registered a plus-4 rating to lead all skaters in that category ... Phil Kessel, Max Pacioretty and Joe Pavelski each had four shots on goal ... Paul Martin and Ryan Suter led Team USA in time-on-ice (19:46 each) ... For the compete Team USA roster, click here ... The 25-man roster for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team was announced on NBC as part of its coverage of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. ... Dan Bylsma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is the head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Tony Granato, assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Todd Richards, head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Peter Laviolette, serve as assistant coaches ... USA Hockey's International Council, chaired by Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. National Teams.
A special thanks to USA Hockey for providing content for this story