United States-Slovenia Preview
The United States Men’s Hockey Team came away with an exhilarating win Saturday morning over the host team Russia. It came down to a shootout and T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues stole the show and the victory for Team USA. The winger converted four of his six shootout opportunities pushing the United States to a 2-0 record. Now they face Slovenia who has just one NHL player on their roster as they search for their second win of the tournament.
What: Group A Men’s Winter Olympic Hockey: United States v. Slovenia
When: Sunday, February 15th
Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome
Time: 7:30 PM ET, 5:30 PM MT
TV: NBC Sports Network
While the United States defeated Russia for their second win of the tournament, Slovenia upset Slovakia for their first win. Anze Kopitar — the lone NHL player on team Slovenia, scored one of the three goals as Slovenia came away with the 3-1 win.
Team USA will look to keep their winning streak going and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ryan Miller in net for the United States — especially since Jonathan Quick just endured an overtime game plus eight rounds of a shootout. But I wouldn’t rule out Quick to be starting in net once again, we will see come game-time.
Projected Starting Lines:
United States (1-0-1-0, 5 points)
Line 1: Dustin Brown (Kings) – Ryan Kesler (Canucks) – Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)
Line 2: Phil Kessel (Maple Leafs) – Joe Pavelski (Sharks) – James van Riemsdyk(Maple Leafs)
Line 3: Zach Parise (Wild) – David Backes (Blues) – Ryan Callahan (Rangers)
Line 4: Max Pacioretty (Habs) – Paul Stastny (Avalanche) – T.J. Oshie (Blues)
Ryan Miller (Sabres) or Jonathan Quick (Kings)
Slovenia (1-1, 3 points)
Line 1: David Rodman – Anze Kopitar (Kings) – Jan Mursak
Line 2: Marcel Rodman – Tomaz Raziner – Jan Urbas
Line 3: Ziga Jeglic – Rok Ticar – Robert Sabolic
Line 4: Ales Music – Ziga Pance – Bostjan Golicic
Pair 1: Ales Kranjc – Sabahudin Kovacevic
Pair 2: Blaz Gregorc – Mitja Robar
Pair 3: Ziga Pavlin – Andrej Tavzelj
Keys to the Game:
United States — Play Disciplined Hockey
The United States scuffled a bit against the Russian National Team, collecting five penalties from Blake Wheeler, Max Pacioretty, David Backes, Patrick Kane, and Dustin Brown. Luckily for them, it only cost them one goal but they will have to play more disciplined from here on out.
Slovenia — Lots of Anze
Slovenia isn’t really given a chance to succeed with the talent of players on the United States roster. They will need Anze Kopitar to have a big game on both sides of the ice or else Team USA could coast to an easy victory.