GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ryan Donato scored two power-play objectives and Troy Terry dominated along with his velocity as faculty gamers led the US to an vital 2-1 victory over Slovakia on Friday on the Olympics.
Donato, who performs for his father Ted at Harvard, delivered the sort of offense USA Hockey needed when it picked 4 NCAA gamers for its no-NHL Olympic roster. Donato, Terry and American Hockey League scoring star Chris Bourque have been all additions to the U.S. after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup in November, throughout which the U.S. struggled to attain, notably towards Slovakia goaltender Jan Laco.
Laco was on high of his sport, stopping 29 of the 31 pictures he confronted. Solely this time, the Individuals’ younger talent that coach Tony Granato hoped would deliver power and spark the staff got here via.
Goalie Ryan Zapolski made 21 saves for his first Olympic victory, which is essential contemplating solely the highest 4 of 12 groups keep away from the qualification spherical Monday. With the regulation win, the U.S. vaults to the highest of Group B with 4 factors. Slovakia was second with three, adopted by Slovenia and Russia.
The U.S. faces Russia in every staff’s closing preliminary-round sport Saturday night time.
The Individuals didn’t have a shot on web till six-plus minutes into the sport when defenseman Noah Welch lastly obtained the puck to Laco.
All it took to get the U.S. offense going was a Slovakia penalty that gave Terry and Donato some room to function. Terry sped via the offensive zone and took two Slovakia defenders with him, dropping the puck to a wide-open Donato for his first power-play purpose of the sport to place the U.S. up 1-Zero at 7:10.
Simply 25 seconds later, Andrej Kudrna scored on a tip of a Tomas Surovy shot that slipped beneath Zapolski’s proper arm for a tying purpose the 31-year-old goalie in all probability desires again.
Bobby Butler had a semi-breakaway late within the first and Laco obtained his blocker on it. A few second-period energy performs yielded offensive-zone time however not a purpose, and a borderline goalie interference penalty on Boston College’s Jordan Greenway made penalty killers work onerous to maintain it tied.
After a too many males on the ice name on Slovakia, Bourque, one other son of a former NHL participant, fed Donato, who spun round in entrance and went five-hole on Laco to attain the game-winning purpose with 17:09 left.
NOTES: F Chad Kolarik made his Olympic debut, changing veteran Jim Slater within the U.S. lineup. … David Leggio backed up Zapolski with Brandon Maxwell scratched. … Notre Dame D Will Borgen was a wholesome scratch for the second consecutive sport.