U.S. men's Olympic hockey team crush Slovakia 7-1

U.S. men's hockey cruised past Slovakia in their first game of the Olympics today.
By Brooks Hays  |  Feb. 13, 2014 at 10:49 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The men's hockey team tied a U.S. Olympic record for most goals in a single period today, scoring six in the 2nd on their way to a 7-1 route of Slovakia.

Ryan Kesler, David Backes, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown all netted for the Americans. And adding two goals was Paul Stastney, whose father, Peter, played in the 1980 Olympics for Czechoslovakia, and waved the Slovakian flag at the opening ceremony of the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway -- two years after the country earned its independence from the Czechs.

Stastney said there is no confusion over his parents' allegiance during these Olympics. "They are the biggest U.S. fans," he told USA Today. "I'm not worried about that."

Goalie Jonathan Quick made his Olympic debut for the U.S., making 22 saves and allowing just one past.

There are high expectations for the Americans in Sochi. The U.S. team earned a silver medal in Vancouver four years ago, losing out in a dramatic final against Canada.

"I guess you never really expect to beat a team like that 7-1, and you never do it in a tournament like this," captain Zach Parise told CBS Sports. "We just capitalized on the chances we had, moved the puck well and used our speed."

The Americans can't dwell on their success for long. They face the always formidable Russians on Saturday.

Today's 7-1 win was the first game of the preliminary group stage, the results of which determine the seeding for the subsequent single elimination tournament. All teams move on from the group stages; winners receive a bye in the first round of the tournament.

[USA Today] [CBS Sports]

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