AUGSBURG, Germany – The U.S. Men’s National Select Team outshot Slovakia 36-16, but fell by a 2-1 count here this afternoon in the first game of the 2017 Deutschland Cup.
The four-team round-robin tournament features host Germany, along with the U.S., Slovakia and Russia.
“I thought overall we played a solid game,” said Tony Granato, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Select Team and also the head coach of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. “Our guys worked hard and played to the very end. We’ll build on this game and look forward to playing Russia tomorrow."
Slovakia scored the only goal of the opening period on its first shot on goal 5:24 into the contest when Patrik Lamper tipped Ladislav Romancik’s shot from the side of the right circle past Ryan Zapolski (Erie, Pa.). Ryan Stoa (Bloomington, Minn.) had a good chance from between the circles just :30 later and Andy Miele (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) was stopped from in tight late in the period to account for two of the best U.S. chances. The U.S. also controlled play in Slovakia’s zone for the entire two minutes of its lone power play in the opening stanza, but didn’t convert.
Marek Hovorka found his way between two U.S. defenders off an up-ice feed from Juraj Bezuch and tucked the puck home on the backhand past David Leggio (Williamsville, N.Y.) to give Slovakia a 2-0 lead at 6:05 of the middle stanza. The U.S. put 10 shots on net in the period, but didn’t score. Stoa, Ryan Lasch (Lake Forest, Calif.) and Mielle provided the best scoring chances for the U.S., including Miele’s backhanded attempt at the side of the net with just :02 remaining in the period.
The U.S. dominated the final 20 minutes, including a 19-3 shots-on-goal advantage. Midway through the stanza, the U.S. had a 5-on-3 power play for more than a minute, but Laco turned aside a handful of chances, including attempts from Matt Gilroy (North Bellemore, N.Y.) in the high slot and a point-blank stop on Stoa from right in front. Bobby Sanguinetti (Trenton, N.J.) put Team USA back within the striking distance with 6:29 to play when he sent the puck over the shoulder of Laco from the side of the left circle. Jonathon Blum (Long Beach, Calif.) and Garrett Roe (Vienna, Va.) drew assists on the play. The U.S. continued to pressure Slovakia down the stretch, including the final 2:23 with Leggio pulled, but could not get the equalizer.
Zapolski played the first 20 minutes for Team USA in goal and made four stops, while Leggio was in net for the final two periods and made 10 saves. Jan Laco went the distance for Slovakia and had 35 stops.
Team USA returns to action tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) to face Russia in its second of three games at the Deutschland Cup. The game will be streamed live here.
NOTES: Matt Gilroy was named Team USA’s Player of the Game … The U.S. is playing in the Deutschland Cup for the 10th time, including previous appearances in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 … Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.) is the captain of Team USA. The U.S. is using different alternate captains in each game. Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Jim Slater (Petoskey, Mich.) served as alternate captains for today’s contest … The 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team coaching staff is guiding the U.S. in the Deutschland Cup, led by head coach Tony Granato. Assistant coaches are Chris Chelios, Scott Young, Keith Allain and Ron Rolston … Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations of USA Hockey, is the general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and serving in the same capacity for the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Select Team here in Germany … The Deutschland Cup is part of the player evaluation process in helping select the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.
|Date||Opponent||Time (Local/ET)||Location||Live Stream|
|Friday, Nov. 10||Slovakia||L, 1-2||Curt Frenzel Stadium
|Saturday, Nov. 11||Russia||7:30 p.m./1:30 p.m.||Curt Frenzel Stadium
|Sunday, Nov. 12||Germany||4:45 p.m./10:45 a.m.||Curt Frenzel Stadium