February 24, 2018

Ice hockey - Scoring woes let USA women down against Canada

15 February 2018, 07:12 | Henrietta Morgan

Ice hockey - Scoring woes let USA women down against Canada

US eager to avenge gold-medal heartbreak vs. Canada

The other Group B matchup also went the way of the underdog, as Slovakia also overcame a 2-0 deficit to knock off the Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation by the same 3-2 count.

The tournament of ice hockey male has an extremely bad start for two of the contenders for the podium as the team of olympic athletes of Russian Federation lost against Slovakia and the United States have been surprised by Slovenia. In each case, a two-goal lead crumbled.

The Slovenians got on the board 5:49 into the third period, with Blaz Gregorc finding the back of the net to trim Team USA's lead to 2-1. The biggest challenge for the USA then, now and potentially moving forward, is cashing on its offensive chances. Turnovers and penalty trouble plagued them into overtime.

Jan Mursak was the hero late in the 3rd, the former Red Wing saved his team from a loss and tied the game up while beating United States of America goalie Ryan Zapolski glove side. The 36-year-old Bourque, who amassed 163 goals for six NHL teams, has 13 in 33 games this season for Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League.

The game-tying goal came with under two minutes remaining.

"We're trying to learn the ice and see the tendencies, and we just had a few too many misses", said Canada second Joanne Courtney.

One of those players is Jonathan Blum who, like the rest of his teammates, had long ago given up on any shot of fulfilling an Olympic dream. Brian Gionta is a Catholic from Rochester, N.Y., who is captain on the US men's hockey team competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Of the 60, 19 are Slovenian. U.S. clearly made a decision to nap out there today and that cost them big time.

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Gionta has played for the New Jersey Devils and was on the team in 2003 when it won the Stanley Cup.

USA players shook off the stunning 3-2 defeat so quickly it was a whiplash of emotions in just over 12 hours.

Or at least that was the message he was hoping would permeate through his locker room should the US face Canada again, in a week, with Olympic gold on the line. But the Americans' energy inexplicably flagged in the third, to the surprise of coach Tony Granato.

"It could've been a little fatigue just set in mentally because of the way that the day was", Granato said. Every team wants to get better.

The two-time defending gold-medal winners will not be the heavy favorite entering the 2018 Olympics.

Donato has game-breaking ability and could be one of the more explosive players on the American roster.

Both teams were clearly worn out in that game as players on both sides were in full-fledged training mode.

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Derrick Favors had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Rudy Gobert added 14 points and 17 rebounds for Utah. "That's how fast it was". Ask anyone on the team if they believe they can get better after the break and the answer comes quickly - and often in one word.

Slovakia has 593 games of National Hockey League experience on its roster, 435 of which belong to Ladislav Nagy, who's 38.

What's up with the USA men's team?

Group B is suddenly in a state of upheaval.

Greenway, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds, got the call about making the team late a year ago. Russian Federation has a big fat zero. We'll go into the game the same way we went into this one....

The parallels to the United States of America team of 1980 - the Miracle On Ice squad coached by another Big Ten legend, former Minnesota coach Herb Brooks - are probably inevitable.

The danger isn't real and there's no reason to panic - yet. Any team can win at any time, but Wednesday's big losers will need to learn to play together in short order.

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