Photo Credit: Martin Rose/Getty Images
Rarely does one see a complete game from any team in any sport, but Team USA's 7-1 drumming of Slovakia was just that. The United States went off in the second frame a minute after Slovakia tied it up at 1 on a blown offside call. Tomas Tatar's goal sparked six unanswered tallies by the Americans. Ryan Kesler, Paul Stastny, David Backes, Stastny again, Phil Kessel, and Dustin Brown netted the goals and the game. The third period was played on principle alone. T.J Oshie, Patrick Kane, and James van Riemsdyk had a pair of assists each.
Slovakia's netminders had a rough go today . . . obviously. Jaroslav Halak was chased from the crease after allowing five goals on 25 shots. His replacement, Peter Budaj, was beaten by the first two shots he saw before settling down and turning away the last six. Jonathan Quick however was sharper than a hobby knife, displaying fantastic flexibility and vision in gathering 22 saves. His performance today will make the goalie decision against Russia hard for coach Dan Bylsma.
Team USA's dominance was not limited to the stats-sheet. Lead by David Backes, the Americans played a physical and gritty game along the boards and in front of the net. The defensemen moved players away from Quick's space and punished guys on the boards. It was hard to not take this type of play has a message to the Russians and Canadians. If the team is serious (and by all means they are) about winning the Gold Medal, then this blitzkrieg style of hockey needs to be maintained over the tournament.
The United States have the former USSR on Saturday. Puck drops at noon.
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