Feb 10, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; USA forward Paul Stastny (26) stands with forward Blake Wheeler (28) during an ice hockey training session in advance of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Stastny, Team USA Rout Slovakia In Opener, 7-1


Stastny Helps Guide Team USA to 7-1 Victory

Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny played a big role in Team USA’s blowout win over Slovakia Thursday morning. The center would score twice as Team USA plowed over Slovakia with the final score of 7-1. Stastny was placed on the fourth-line with Montreal Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty and St. Louis Blues winger T.J. Oshie.

John Carlson (Captials) got it started for Team USA late in the first period notching the first goal of the tournament for the team. He would be assisted by Phil Kessel (Maple Leafs) and James van Riemsdyk (Maple Leafs). The second period however would prove to be the turning point in the game. But before USA gained traction, Slovakia posted a goal just 24 seconds into the period as Tomas Tatar (Red Wings) scored with the assist coming from Marian Hossa (Blackhawks).

Team USA would score six goals in the second period as Ryan Kesler (Canucks) would start the spree hitting the net for the goal. Patrick Kane (Blackhawks) would collect the helper as USA went up 2-1. Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny scored his first of two just a minute after Kesler’s goal, on the assist from Max Pacioretty (Canadiens) and T.J. Oshie (Blues).

David Backes (Blues) added another goal around the eight-minute mark as he shot one past the keeper on the assist from Phil Kessel for the 4-1 lead. Paul Stastny would be at it again collecting his second goal of the game on the assist from Kevin Shattenkirk (Blues) and T.J. Oshie as USA took the commanding 5-1 lead.

Team USA wasn’t finished as Phil Kessel wanted to join in the action, collecting his first goal of the tournament on the assist from Ryan Kesler and James van Riemsdyk. Last but not least, Dustin Brown (Kings) would score the final goal of the game for Team USA as John Carlson and Patrick Kane picked up the helpers for the 7-1 final.

Jonathan Quick (Kings) was solid in net for Team USA as he stopped 22-of-23 shots, and improves to 1-0 in the tournament. The United States out-shot Slovakia 33-to-23, but Slovakia evened out the third period with both teams having six shots on net.

The United States Men’s Hockey Team (1-0)  will be back in action Saturday morning as they take on Team Russia and Semyon Varlamov. Puck-Drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET, 5:30 PM MT.

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