The Canadian men's hockey team wanted no part of the early upset trend that saw the favoured United States and Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) stunned by Slovenia and Slovakia, respectively.
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA-The United States men's hockey team did just about everything right for the first 40 minutes of its Olympic opener Wednesday night.
With four days to prepare for its next opponent, the U.S.is content to stay the course, knowing that the hockey gods will eventually smile on them for their consistent effort.
Taking NHL stars out of the equation might prove to be a bigger equalizer here than anyone could have imagined.
"We had a great number of shots but hats off to them; they played a great hockey game".
The Swiss team is made up entirely of Swiss league talent.
This time, it had no reason to feel inferior.
Agosta elbowed a USA defender in the face less than a minute later, but the Canadians killed off the penalty. "It was no problem", Slovenia forward Blaz Gregorc said.
"We're not searching for the inner strength anymore", USA captain Meghan Duggan said.
Noreau hammered home a power-play goal at 7:30 of the opening period when Canada took a two-goal lead.
"It starts with defence first and I think our team was committed to that tonight", said Canadian coach Laura Schuler. We created a lot in the offensive zone. "Sweden has a chance, but I for sure think Russian Federation is the favorite".
The U.S. did look strong in the first two periods, outshooting Slovenia 11-3 in the first and 13-9 in the second.
Then the third period started and everything fell apart. Canada now has three goalies who can get the job done in these games, as Szabados had 22 saves in a 4-1 win over Finland and Ann-Renee Desbiens had an 18-save shutout against the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation. It can't assume two strong periods will be enough.
"For me, most importantly, I'll look at scoring chances for and against and how can we generate more and how can we eliminate some of those chances against us". "I had to find a different way to do it because I found I hit a wall in my career", Bloemen said on his move to Canada. At the moment they just can't seem to get them into the net.
"Starting out like that and getting a goal early (Bourque's first of the game just 2:57 in) really gave us a boost and everybody on the bench was super excited", Roy said.
Mursak won it from close range 38 seconds into three-on-three, perhaps the team's biggest Olympic victory to date. "I wish I'd already had the legal knowledge to help our team out", says Knight.
"It was exciting to get my first one under my belt", Greenway said. "And we know it's not going to get any easier moving forward". The third period we got a little bit on our heels, probably let off the gas a little bit.
Feeling good about how they tilted the ice for two periods, the Americans need to avoid a repeat of how they went into a shell in the third period and abandoned the aggressive approach that had been working so well.
"We'll watch the films and see what we did well and see what we didn't do well, but overall I thought we played a great game and a good 60 minutes. Be proud of the team we are". "We're focused on the things that we can control, and certainly those games that we've played in the past have nothing to do with our future".