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[Men's Hockey] Slovakia upsets the U.S. 2-1


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Slovakia upsets the U.S. 2-1

Associated Press

Turin ? The road to the men's hockey quarter-finals got a little bumpier for the United States.Atlanta Thrashers teammates Marian Hossa and Peter Bondra sandwiched goals around one by Brian Rolston to give Slovakia a 2-1 victory over the United States on Saturday night.b>

Slovakia (3-0) strengthened its first-place hold in Group B, moving two points ahead of Russia and Sweden and three in front of the Americans (1-1-1). The top four in the six-team group move on to the quarter-finals. Each team, including Latvia and Kazakhstan at the bottom, has two preliminary games remaining.

While the U.S. held a 30-21 shots advantage, the Americans were hurt by many shots that either sailed off the mark or were blocked before reaching goalie Peter Budaj.

Bondra snapped a 1-1 tie and handed further disappointment to the U.S. women's hockey team that watched from the stands one night after their upset loss to Sweden in the semifinals.

After defenceman Chris Chelios fell down behind the U.S. goal, Miroslav Satan took the puck and quickly passed it out in front to Bondra, who was surrounded by four American players. No matter, as he quickly found a spot between Rick DiPietro's pads to make it 2-1 just 1:48 into the third period.

The United States nearly got even while short-handed around the seven-minute mark. Jason Blake skated in alone but struck the crossbar, and Erik Cole was denied by Budaj's stick on a three-on-two rush.

Budaj, one of three Colorado Avalanche goalies in the Olympics, appeared to fight the puck throughout the game yet he did enough to keep it out of the net.

He had help in front as Slovakia seemed content to often sit back and wait for the Americans to come at them and make mistakes.

The Slovaks grabbed a 1-0 lead after Mathieu Schneider was sent off for checking-from-behind late in the opening period.

Hossa got away from Craig Conroy along the right-wing boards and cut into the right circle. Once he had space and a good angle, he let a shot fly that got between DiPietro's pads.

That sent the chanting, horn-blowing, and music-playing fans dressed in red, white and blue ? the Slovakian kind ? into a roaring frenzy.

The United States responded with a power-play goal of its own, the fourth scored by the Americans in their three games here.

Scott Gomez won a neutral zone faceoff back to New Jersey Devils teammate Brian Rafalski. It moved across the zone to Rolston, who carried the puck across the blue line and ripped a shot past Budaj with 1:36 left in the second.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...Hockey2006/home

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I watched most of the game. Slovakia uses an odd on ice configuration in which they'll have 2 guys at center ice to control the neutral zone. It seems to be working well for them.

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Why is it an upset? USA has been playing like crap, and Slovakia is a fairly strong team. Even the fact that u said Marian Hossa and Petr Bondra scored the 2 Slovak goals is enough to proove that this US loss isnt an upset at all

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Why is it an upset? USA has been playing like crap, and Slovakia is a fairly strong team. Even the fact that u said Marian Hossa and Petr Bondra scored the 2 Slovak goals is enough to proove that this US loss isnt an upset at all

Exactly. I expected this from the very strong Slovakian team.

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damn...what a game. very exciting to watch. we had our chances. oh well, i just hope we make it to the next round. another game tomorrow, don't forget.

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Hardly an upset. If this were 2002, it would be an upset, but this Slovak team is solid. A legitimate medal contender if you ask me.

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Yeah I seen this game, first hockey game in a while, and I agree with what the (Slovak hockey player?) said that their offense was good, so they focused on defense since that could hurt them. And you could see that if you seen most of the game, when Slovakia was on defence they were focusing. However when they got the puck they were basically yawning . The US defence was good though, offense?????

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