After four teams (Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Latvia) got the Sochi Olympics Hockey Tournament underway on Wednesday, the rest of the teams involved got into the action Thursday night in Russia.
The United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team got its portion of the tournament underway of Thursday against Slovakia, and showed no signs of lack of chemistry as the Americans trounced Slovakia 7-1 in front of a crowd of about 4,000 in Sochi.
The game looked like it would be a close, hard-fought battle early on after Tomas Tatar scored for Slovakia just 24 seconds into the second period to tie the game at one. Unfortunately for Slovakia, that’s when Team USA decided to put on the pressure.
Lead by Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny two goals, Team USA scored six goals in a 14 minute span in the second period to blow the game wide open. Starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak found himself pulled in favor of Peter Budaj after Halak gave up five goals on 25 shots.
John Carlson, Ryan Kesler, David Backes, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown each added a goal for the United States. Jonathan Quick made 22 saves on 23 shots for USA to earn the victory.
Team USA’s next game comes on Saturady against host nation Russia. The Russians beat Slovenia 5-2 in their tournament opener on Thursday.