Sports

Former Red Wing Burns US Men's Hockey Team In Olympic Opener

Former Red Wing Burns US Men's Hockey Team In Olympic Opener

Although U.S. men's Olympic hockey coach Tony Granato was inspired to learn about and play worldwide hockey after he watched the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. team prevail at the Lake Placid Games, he said his motivational tactics haven't included showing his own players the popular movie that was made about that gold-medal team.

But things changed in the third period.

"I'm happy I was able to score today and help the team", Mursak said after the game, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Jan Mursak struck the victor just 38 seconds into overtime as Slovenia recovered from trailing 2-0 midway through the second period.

The game started well for the United States as veteran Brian O'Neill got the Americans up 1-0 late in the first period with 2:16 to go in the frame.

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The tying goal came with the Slovenia net empty.

Mursak had two points for Slovenia in the stunning victory over the United States. After being blanked in its first two games of the preliminary round, Griffin's accomplishment will prove to be a building block for the Korean hockey program.

The Boston University standout, who's the first African American player to represent the U.S.in men's ice hockey at the Olympics, found a loose puck amid a scrum in front of Slovenian netminder Gasper Kroselj and tapped it home to make it 2-0. O'Neil also registered the secondary assist on the goal. With the Slovenia defense scrambled in their own zone, O'Neill got between the opposing defenders to pot Team USA's first goal of the tournament.

Everything eventually collapsed on Team USA when Mursak scored the tying tally with less than two minutes to play with the goaltender pulled for Slovenia. Team Canada has taken the last four Olympic gold medals, with the US winning the 1998 Games.

"I'm proud of my guys, I'm proud of the team", said Mursak, who played sporadically with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings between 2010 and 2012. The Americans outshot Slovenia 11-3 in the first period, and that number would only grow throughout the game.


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