US men's hockey team loses to Slovenia in Olympics debut


One of the new things players on either side of the border war agree on is that the rivalry brings out the best with both teams. Jordan Greenway also found the net for the United States.

The United States continues preliminary round play against Slovakia at 10:10 Eastern Thursday.

A team who never quit, the Slovenians fought their way into the knockout round in Sochi four years ago and finished seventh. Greenway is the first black USA men's hockey player in Olympics history. He is also the only former Olympian and led the 2006 Winter Games in scoring when the US was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

The U.S. pushed the pace against Slovenia, the most unheralded team in Group B, which also features the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation and Slovakia.

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In all, 15 players on Team USA have National Hockey League experience.

A team who have earned a reputation for punching above their weight, Slovenia captain Jan Mursak tied the game with under two minutes to go by tapping home a rebound and scored the victor less than a minute into sudden-death overtime.

- Men's hockey: On the opening day of men's hockey, United States of America will take on Slovenia in Group B action and will feature a roster full of collegiate athletes, minor league players and European leaguers (live starting at 6:30 a.m., NBCSN).

Brian O'Neill scored the Americans' first goal late in the first period. Team USA led 24-12 in shots after 40 minutes and easily could have been ahead by more. The members of the current American team have been scattered across the globe and just found out on January 1 that they were on the team.

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The U.S. men didn't play any "friendly" or exhibition games before settling in at the Athletes' Village, and they've had four practices here.

In the early rounds of the 2018 ice hockey matchups, Team USA defeated Finland 3-1 February 11 and beat the Russian athletes 5-0 February 13.

There is always a chance for an upset early in the Olympics, especially when one team has more experience playing together as is the case here with Slovenia.

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