GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team outshot the Olympic Athletes from Russia 29-26, but was defeated 4-0 here tonight in its final preliminary round contest of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.
“I thought it was a great game with unbelievable pace,” said Tony Granato, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. “As an athlete, you love to play in games like this. The crowd was awesome. Our guys played hard to the end. We didn’t get any breaks tonight and certainly give them credit. They’re a really good team. We have a really good team too and this game will help us as we move to the next round."
The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team (1-0-1-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) returns to action on Tuesday (Feb. 20) in the qualification playoff round against Slovakia. Puck drop is slated for 12:10 p.m. local time, making it a 10:10 p.m. ET start on Monday (Feb. 19) in the U.S.. The game will be televised live on NBCSN, in addition to being live streamed on NBCOlympics.com.
Nikolai Prokhorkin gave OAR a 1-0 lead 7:21 into play when he redirected a pass just in front of the crease past Ryan Zapolski (Erie, Pa).
Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) nearly tied the game for the United States with just over three minutes left in the period when his shot from the top of the left circle on the rush rang off the crossbar and out of play.
In the final minute, defenseman Matt Gilroy (North Bellemore, N.Y.) cleared away a loose puck in the crease behind Zapolski to keep it a 1-0 game entering the first intermission.
In the middle stanza, Prokhorkin doubled the OAR lead 2:14 into play with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat Zapolski glove side.
Five minutes later captain Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.) almost halved Team USA’s deficit on a breakaway attempt that was thwarted away by the stick of goaltender Vasilli Koshechkin.
Ilya Kovalchuk extended OAR’s lead to 3-0 with a one-timer from the top of the right circle with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock in the second period.
Kovalchuk tallied again :28 into the final frame to account for the 4-0 final.
Zapolski finished with 22 saves in net for the U.S.
NOTES: The U.S. outshot OAR, 29-26, went 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. For complete game statistics, click here … Alongside Granato, Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.), Chris Chelios (Chicago, Ill.), Ron Rolston (Fenton, Mich.) and Scott Young (Clinton, Mass.) are serving as assistant coaches … Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who unexpectedly passed away on Jan. 21, 2018, is the team’s general manager while Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) is the director of player personnel … The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team has captured two gold medals (1980, 1960), eight silver medals (2010, 2002, 1972, 1956, 1952, 1932, 1924, 1920) and one bronze medal (1936) all-time in Olympic play … USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. Olympic Teams ... For complete coverage of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, click here.
|Wed., Feb. 14||Slovenia||Preliminary||OTL, 2-3||Kwandong Hockey Centre|
|Fri., Feb. 16||Slovakia||Preliminary||W, 2-1||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Sat., Feb. 17||Olympic Athletes From Russia||Preliminary||L, 0-4||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Tues., Feb. 20||Slovakia||Qualification||W, 5-1||Gangneung Hockey Centre|
|Wed., Feb 21||Czech Republic||Quarterfinals||SOL, 2-3||Gangneung Hockey Centre|