Ice hockey - Slovenia down United States 3-2 in overtime

Esther Moore
February 14, 2018

Jan Mursak tied the game late in third period and tallied the game victor in overtime as Slovenia took down the United States in the opening game of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. US captain Brian Gionta is off for tripping 12:42 into the third, and the Americans have a penalty to kill clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Chad Kolarik (Abington) and Brian O'Neill (Yardley) will be donning the red, white and blue with every intention of bringing home a medal, even if no one is expecting them to do so.

In the second period Jordan Greenway, the first African American to play for the USA men's Olympic hockey team, tapped in a puck that popped loose from a scrum in front of Kroselj. All four have significant global experience, but Terry is probably the most recognizable name as he was the hero who scored the shootout-winning goal in the gold medal game at last year's World Junior Championships.

Slovenia knotted the game at two with 1:37 remaining in the third period.

"Obviously we are an older group with the National Hockey League dream behind most of us, so being able to play for Team USA is probably the highlight of my career", Kolarik said.

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Three-time Olympian Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson was huge for the US against the Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation en route to creating a piece of history. Lamoureux's twin sister Jocelyne touched off an even larger brawl in a December 4-1 USA win in Grand Forks, N.D. When it was all over the referee had handed out 10 fighting majors and there were six US players in the penalty box, five Canadians. Uh-oh. A sloppy Team USA surrenders a goal.

Team USA led 2-0 in the third period when Slovenia rallied to create a tense finish.

That's because five players on the team's roster of 23 are from the Jesuit-run school - two are recent graduates and three are current students taking a leave of absence for the Pyeongchang Games. Team Canada has taken the last four Olympic gold medals, with the US winning the 1998 Games.

Slovenia, ranked 15th by the International Ice Hockey Federation, got on the board in the third period when Blaz Gregorc threaded a wrist shot through a crowd in front of US goalkeeper Ryan Zapolski. O'Neil also registered the secondary assist on the goal. United States of America leads Slovenia 1-0 17:44 in. Ryan Donato also assisted on the play.

Ryan Zapolski stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced in net for the US, while Kroselj allowed two goals on 36 shots for Slovenia.

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