That’s where the similarities end.
That was the USA team’s only victory in the first round; coach Tony Granato’s team lost to the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation, 4-0, and lost to Slovenia 3-2 in overtime.
The U.S. squad is competing without players from clubs in North America’s National Hockey League (NHL), which announced in April that it would not schedule a break for the Olympics in the 2017-18 season. “I think there were a lot of times (against Russia) where we had the shot, but decided not to take it and tried to make a backdoor pass. Hopefully you will change it now”.
Whether Team USA’s chances of an extended stay in South Korea would improve with Zapolski on the bench instead of between the pipes is a question US coach Tony Granato will have to take a hard look at in the coming days. Many don’t remember that just days before the “miracle on ice”, the U.S. was dominated by the Soviet Union in a 10-3 game at Madison Square Garden. U.S. Coach Tony Granato didn’t like it. T.J. Oshie scored four goals on six shots in the shootout, including the victor, which is what Kovalchuk was referring to.
Sweden 1, Germany 0: Viktor Stalberg scored on a near-breakaway in the first period, and the goal held up. USA forward Ryan Donato said, “Even before the game there (was) a lot of tension”.
“The two other goals were really good shots”.
Mike Eruzione, former captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, said the Russians this time around were simply “the better team”.
While the outcome was less than desirable for US fans, they enjoyed the atmosphere.
Former NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals, including a devastating strike on a US blunder, as the Russians overpowered a scrappy Team USA squad 4-0 in the Group B preliminary round finale. Now they have that confidence.
“I thought it was a great game”.
The few bits of good news created by an American roster chock-full of college and AHL players came from the victory over Slovakia, but that result didn’t create any momentum ahead of the clash with the Russians, who are one of the favorites to top the podium.
Though the score was only 4-0 and United States of America was able to get 29 pucks on OAR goaltender Vasili Koshechkin, the men in red controlled the game in every aspect. “I’m trying to enjoy it, and we’re athletic by proxy now at this point”. The 6-7, 231-pound Koschechkin looked taller than any shot from a United States of America stick, and there was little players like Ryan Donato and Brian Gionta could do about that. They sure didn’t think the game was as lopsided as the score.
Britain’s women curlers now have a 3-3 win-loss record and may need to win their next three games to make the semi-finals. The Miracle on Ice allowed America to be an underdog, and we don’t get too many chances like that.
On this stage, the result is all that matters.
The NHL’s pullout puts the U.S.