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Budaj: Slovakia couldn’t keep up with ‘flying’ Americans

Feb 13, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

USA forward Dustin Brown's shot fly by Slovakia goaltender Peter Budaj for a goal during the second period of the 2014 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey game at Shayba Arena, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) AP

Many thought Slovakia had the potential to play spoiler at the Olympics, but that wasn’t on display today. The Slovaks briefly hung with the U.S. before the Americans broke out in the second period and finished with a 7-1 blowout victory.

“They were flying, and we couldn’t keep up,” Slovak goaltender Peter Budaj said, per the Olympic News Service. “We made some mistakes, especially in the second period, and they made us pay for it.”

Budaj came into the game after Jaroslav Halak allowed five goals in 25 shots, but the change didn’t slow the American offense — Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown scored on the first two shots Budaj faced.

Marian Hossa, who led all Slovak forwards with 18:59 minutes worth of ice time, was at a loss to explain his team’s collapse.

“I don’t know what happened,” Hossa said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus. “All of a sudden, they were all over us. We didn’t play well defensively.”

That being said, Slovakia’s spirits haven’t been crushed. While there’s no denying that this game looked like a mismatch, they remain optimistic going forward.

“I don’t think we will change our system,” Slovak’s lone goal scorer, Tomas Tatar, said. “It’s all about mistakes. We double up a lot in the D-zone. We just can’t play this way. We need to sort these things out.”

Budaj echoed that while throwing his support behind the team’s coaching staff and roster.

“We will just tweak a few things and get better defensively, and I think we will be alright,” Budaj said.

Slovakia will play against Slovenia on Saturday before facing Russia on Sunday.


Balanced U.S. attack overwhelms Slovakia in blowout win

  1. Stiller43 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Flat out molestation. Loved it. USA USA USA

  2. 950003cups - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    Going forward, I like Quick in the net

  3. btlpper68 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Interesting who starts in goal now

  4. theageofquarrel - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    The Tatar goal shouldn’t have counted anyhow,the play was off sides by a mile.
    But whatever,it was a mercy goal. Hahahaha

  5. pastabelly - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Looking forward to US-Russia on Saturday. That game will have NHL Playoff or even Conference Finals intensity. It’s great to get this type of hockey in February, although I miss the NHL.

  6. c9castine - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    im not sure how yo mess up that offsides call. the linesman was literally right on top of the play.

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