United States Hockey Team Allows Slovenians to Believe in Miracles


Mursak played 25 games for Detroit in 2011-12 and two more in 2012-13. That goal forced overtime, where Slovenia continued to ride its momentum. A part of Yugoslavia until 1991, Slovenia did not qualify for an Olympic ice hockey tournament until 2014 but finished a respectable seventh in Sochi. So there's no time to dwell on their shocking Olympic-opening loss, and head coach Tony Granato is tasked with making sure it doesn't snowball into something worse-like not coming home with a medal.

Rochester's Brian Gionta did not figure in either American goal.

Kroselj made a handful of quality saves to keep Slovenia in the game, and Zapolski had to do the same in the second period, stopping Urbas on a one-timer with Greenway in the box and the U.S. on the penalty kill.

The Olympic hockey tournament is being played without NHL players for the first time since the Lillehammer Games in 1994 after the league and International Olympic Committee failed to agree on players' travel and insurance costs. All four have significant worldwide experience, but Terry is probably the most recognizable name as he was the hero who scored the shootout-winning goal in the gold medal game at last year's World Junior Championships. Lamoureux's twin sister Jocelyne touched off an even larger brawl in a December 4-1 US win in Grand Forks, N.D. When it was all over the referee had handed out 10 fighting majors and there were six USA players in the penalty box, five Canadians.

The Americans looked like they might survive in regulation. They have not played a single exhibition game together.

There is always a chance for an upset early in the Olympics, especially when one team has more experience playing together as is the case here with Slovenia.

The U.S. defenseman Matt Gilroy blocked an initial pass from Rok Ticar to Mursak.