It was pretty much a one-man show for Team USA on day three of Olympic men’s hockey action, as Ryan Donato scored both goals en route to the US’ win over Slovakia. Meanwhile, the Olympic Athletes from Russia proved too much for Slovenia, who fell by a score of 8-2.
Finland topped Norway 5-1, while Sweden beat Germany 1-0 in a close match.
United States 2, Slovakia 1
The Americans opened the scoring 7:10 in, with Donato notching his first of the game on the power play with Marek Hovorka in the box. Troy Terry and Chris Bourque potted the assists.
The United States’ lead didn’t last long, however. Just 25 seconds after Donato’s opening goal, Slovakia tied it. Andrej Kudrna scored what would be the lone goal of the game for his team.
The teams stayed locked through the second period. As it turned out, the difference-maker would be a penalty to Slovakia for too many men on the ice. This call, just a few minutes into the third, put the US on the power play, where Donato struck again to make it 2-1.
This time, the Americans were able to hold tight to their lead and skate off with the win. Ryan Zapolski had 29 saves in the win.
Former Rochester Americans netminder David Leggio was the backup goaltender. Brian Gionta was held scoreless but registered two shots on goal in 13:23.
Once again, Buffalo Sabres prospect Will Borgen was a healthy scratch.
Olympic Athletes from Russia 8, Slovenia 2
After falling to Slovakia in their opening game, the OAR roared back and potted a decisive win over Slovenia in their second game at Pyeongchang. They also outshot Slovenia 34-15.
The OAR struck twice in the opening period, with Sergei Mozyakin getting his team on the board on the power play with under two minutes to play. Pavel Datsyuk and Nikita Gusev assisted. Just 22 seconds later, our old friend Ilya Kovalchuk made it 2-0.
The offense exploded for four more goals in the second period. Alexander Barabanov struck on the power play to make it 3-0. Just 26 seconds later, the team had the chance to make it 4-0 on a penalty shot, but Ilya Kablukov missed.
It didn’t matter, though, as just over two minutes later, it WAS 4-0 thanks to Kablukov. A few more minutes, and yet another goal - this one from the hands of Kirill Kaprizov, making it 5-0.
Slovenia finally got on the board midway through the game on a goal by Jan Mursak, but before the period ended, Kovalchuk scored his second to make it 6-1.
The OAR switched goalies for the third period, swapping Vasili Koshechkin for Ilya Sorokin.
Just 1:15 into the third, Kaprizov scored his second of the game. He completed the hat trick some six minutes later to make it 8-1. Ziga Pance struck for Slovenia with 33 seconds to play.
Datsyuk had two assists in the win, while former Buffalo Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko had one assist, three shots and somehow managed to be a minus-1 in 12:34.
Finland 5, Norway 1
Despite the eventual loss, Norway actually got on the board first in this one. Patrick Thoresen put his team up 1-0 on the power play 6:29 into the game. From there, however, it was all Finland.
Eeli Tolvanen struck on the power play late in the first, then added a second goal early in the second period.
Veli-Matti Savinainen, Sami Lepisto and Sakari Manninen also potted goals in the third period to help Finland to the 5-1 win.
Sweden 1, Germany 0
Former Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth captured a 28-save shutout en route to Sweden’s 1-0 win over Germany.
Former NHLer Viktor Stalberg had the lone goal, scoring just two minutes into the game.
Despite a slew of penalties on both sides in the second period, the score remained 1-0 through sixty minutes of play.
NHL Draft prospect Rasmus Dahlin was limited to just 4:36 ice time.
Linus Omark played 15:19. Former Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had two penalty minutes and two shots on goal in a team-high 22:21 ice time. Felix Schutz had four shots and was a minus-1 in 14:16.
Next Action (day & time EST)
Canada vs. Czech Republic (Friday, 10:10 p.m., NBCSN)
South Korea vs. Switzerland (Saturday, 2:40 a.m., NBCSN)
Olympic Athletes from Russia vs. United States, (Saturday, 7:10 a.m., NBCSN)
Slovenia vs. Slovakia, (Saturday, 7:10 a.m., USA Network)