View Count: 108 |  Publish Date: February 14, 2014
U.S. routs Slovakia 7-1 in Olympic hockey

Sochi, Russia --
With just one game to prepare for its Olympic showdown with Russia, the U.S. mens hockey team decided to cram an entire tournaments worth of hard work and highlights into one spectacular opener.
Paul Stastny scored twice during a six-goal barrage in the second period, and the Americans got off to a roaring start in Sochi with a 7-1 victory over Slovakia in preliminary-round play Thursday.
Ryan Kesler, David Backes, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown also scored as the U.S. battered Slovakia for six consecutive goals in a 13:51 span, turning what was expected to be a tough matchup into a laugher with its relentless offense.
I guess you never really expect to beat a team like that 7-1, and you never do it in a tournament like this, captain Zach Parise said. We just capitalized on the chances we had, moved the puck well and used our speed.
The Americans answered any lingering questions about their offensive abilities on the big Olympic ice by dominating a Slovak roster studded with NHL players.
You have to do a lot of skating out there on the big ice, but I think we handled it all right, said Kessel, who led the U.S. with two goals and an assist.
Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in his Olympic debut for the U.S., which hopes to improve on its silver-medal finish in Vancouver.
In their only warm-up for Saturdays game against Alex Ovechkin and the host Russians, the Americans had more than enough potency to leave Slovakias two goalies battered.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 20 shots before getting pulled when Stastny tipped home Kevin Shattenkirks pass to put the Americans up 5-1 with their fourth goal in 12:04. Peter Budaj replaced Halak, but Kessel and Brown piled on goals in the next 1:47.
Tomas Tatar scored for Slovakia.

 Americans   goal   goals   ice   Kessel   Olympic   Russia   scored   Slovak   Slovakia   you never 

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 Americans   goal   goals   ice   Kessel   Olympic   Russia   scored   Slovak   Slovakia   you never 
Time: 3:27  |  News Code: 372764  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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