Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenia claim first ice hockey win over USA

Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenia claim first ice hockey win over USA

The same sort of scenario for "the other" game of the day, Russian's came out of the gate flying and showing confidence that they will take this one home without any doubt.

Team USA led 2-0 in the third period when Slovenia rallied to create a tense finish.

The U.S. struck first late in the opening period when Garrett Roe kept a loose puck in the Slovenian zone, carried it behind the net and fed Brian O'Neill who was streaking into the slot.

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Brian Gionta, from Rochester, serves as team captain and is the only returning Olympian. 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. Most recently he was playing for Frolunda HC in the Swiss league.

Russia, by the way, might have not only lose the game but a player for at least a game - Per IIHF source Nikita Nesterov's hit in the 1st period will be reviewed by disciplinary committee. All 12 teams advance to the single-elimination portion of the tournament, but group play determines seeding; the victor of each group, plus the highest ranking runner-up, earn a first-round bye.

"It was exciting to get my first, but it would have been much better to get a win tonight", said Greenway, one of four American college players in the USA team. U.S. clearly made a decision to nap out there today and that cost them big time. Greenway will be the first African American to compete on a U.S. Olympic hockey team. He shared his story on breaking the odds and the color barrier at the 2018 Games. But the Americans kill off a Jordan Greenway penalty thanks to a few big saves from Ryan Zapolski.

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Despite the loss, the race for gold is still wide open. Mursak tied the game on a rebound goal with 1:37 to play.

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 US a 1-0 lead.

In Wednesday's game, the USA got goals from Brian O'Neill and Boston University's Jordan Greenway. James Wisniewski goes off for high-sticking and we're four aside. It's 2-2 after the first period. Here are the full starting lineups.

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