US Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Preview and Prediction: USA vs. Slovenia

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US goalie Ryan Zapolski was not at fault as the U.S. defensive ranks broke down around him.

The Team USA men's hockey team makes its debut at the 2018 Winter Olympics with a matchup against Slovenia on Wednesday morning.

Brian Gionta, from Rochester, serves as team captain and is the only returning Olympian.

One athlete to watch is Jordan Greenway, from Canton, who helped the US win gold at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and the 2015 IIHF U18 Men's World Hockey Championship.

It has become customary to watch National Hockey League players in the Olympics.

Wild prospect Jordan Greenway scored his first Olympic goal in an already historic night for the Boston University junior. Terry also helped the USA win gold in the 2015 IIHF U18 Men's World Hockey Championship and was drafted to the Anaheim Ducks in 2015. On a third-period power play, Ceresnak fired a slapshot from the left circle that proved to be the game-winner.




One of the new things players on either side of the border war agree on is that the rivalry brings out the best with both teams.

Canada and the US are so far superior to the rest of the world, their rivalry so heated, that former Team Canada standout Cassie Campbell-Pascall could hardly be accused of exaggerating when she told the Orange County Register in Sochi: "This is the best rivalry in Olympic sport".

In the absence of the NHL, which chose not to send players to Pyeongchang, the USA men's national team is comprised of outcasts. Uh-oh. A sloppy Team USA surrenders a goal. Slovenia's Blaz Gregorc cut the deficit in half with a little over 14 minutes left in regulation. Team Canada has taken the last four Olympic gold medals, with the USA winning the 1998 Games. He had 49 goals and 74 assists for 123 points in 186 KHL games, entering this season.

Canada and Sweden are also in the hunt for the top spot on the podium, while the United States can reach the medals with a roster full of college athletes and players from the AHL.

Zapolski allowed three goals on 25 shots, including the first goal by Jan Urbas.

Forward Garret Roe made a nifty pass from behind the net to set up Brian O'Neil at 14:44 of the opening period to give United States of America a 1-0 lead. Americans have four shots compared to Slovenia's one so far.

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