Upsets of Team USA, OAR show men's tournament is truly wide open

Upsets of Team USA, OAR show men's tournament is truly wide open

Jan Mursak scored the victor for Slovenia 38 seconds into the overtime period.

Even though Team USA led 2-0 heading into the third period, Slovenia powered back to tie the game with fewer than two minutes remaining in the final period.

The United States men's hockey team looked to have a win wrapped up in their Olympic opener in Pyeongchang.

In the 3-on-3 overtime, Mursak got free on the doorstep and scored high over American goalie Ryan Zapolski less than a minute into the extra frame.

The decision to have National Hockey League players sit out the Olympics for the first time since 1994 obviously makes this tournament significantly more unpredictable, but it's still fairly safe to say that this opening game is one that will help Tony Granato's squad get Group Play started on the right foot. Both the Team USA men and women will take the ice for one of the most exciting days on the schedule.

But it was a day for Mursak and Slovenia. At the 2014 Games, the USA lost in the bronze-medal game.

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The same sort of scenario for "the other" game of the day, Russian's came out of the gate flying and showing confidence that they will take this one home without any doubt.

Blaz Gregorc, who had a goal and an assist for Slovenia, fired shot on goal from the point. Canada walked away with a gold medal after the 2014 Olympics, but Team USA will look to rebound as it enters the Winter Games as co-favorites for the gold (live starting at 10:10 p.m., NBCSN).

Returning to the lineup later in the season, he had trouble finding any playing time, the Red Wings put him on waivers and Mursak signed with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL.

In Wednesday's game, the USA got goals from Brian O'Neill and Boston University's Jordan Greenway. 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.

United States of America will face Slovakia next, at 10:10 p.m. ET on February 16th.

Russia, by the way, might have not only lose the game but a player for at least a game - Per IIHF source Nikita Nesterov's hit in the 1st period will be reviewed by disciplinary committee.

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