Russians suffer Slovakia upset in Winter Games hockey opener

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Russians suffer Slovakia upset in Winter Games hockey opener

He got his wish right away.

Russian teams have now played Slovakia in four consecutive Olympic tournaments, losing three of those and winning in 2014 in a shootout.

"Life moves pretty fast right now", said Donato, whose father tied for the USA lead in scoring at the 1992 Olympics.

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"I've been so overwhelmed by how nice they've been and welcoming to me and the other college guys", Terry said of the veterans in an exclusive interview with NBC Olympics.

Donato, who plays for his father Ted at Harvard, Terry (Denver University), Greenway (Boston University) and American Hockey League scoring star Chris Bourque were all additions to the US after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup, during which the USA struggled to score - particularly against Slovakia goaltender Jan Laco. Coach Tony Granato pointed out that Slovenia probably should have been the more exhausted team from playing so much in its defensive zone, but there was none of that from a group that has only one player - Mursak - with National Hockey League experience.

"We outskated them in the third, especially, and had more energy", said Mursak, who spent time with the Detroit Red Wings. "It's a big stage and they're doing a great job".

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Donato, whose father Ted Donato played on the Olympic U.S. team in 1992 in Albertville, France, snapped it past Slovak goaltender Jan Laco. Overall, I liked the way we played. "They didn't start the tournament the way they wanted to".

Donato's second power-play goal and eventual game victor came at 2:51 of the third period when the collegiate athlete neatly tucked in a backhand from the top of the crease. Additionally, Terry drew a penalty that set up a power play and was crucial on defense late in the third period as the USA battled to hang on for the win. "For me it's just getting over the fact I'm playing those guys and knowing with my speed I'm able to make a difference. I've learned pretty quickly that I can kind of use that over them and I can be an impact". And failing to beat Slovakia at the Olympics is a reminder of more recent problems.

Slovakia answered immediately win an even-strength goal 25 seconds later. The Russians lost to Slovakia in their opener and face Slovenia later on Friday. But the Americans showed resolve on a late penalty kill and the kids led the way.

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"They're going to be angry, " Granato said. O'Neill said special teams are really important, but especially in this tournament, and goalie Ryan Zapolski said he has been impressed with what he has seen out of it so far.

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