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U.S. chases Slovakia’s Halak in second period

Feb 13, 2014, 8:51 AM EDT

USA forward James van Riemsdyk celebrates John Carlson's goal in front of the Slovakia's goal as Slovakia goaltender Jaroslav Halak get up from his knees during mens' ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Martin Rose, Pool) AP

Slovak goaltender Jaroslav Halak held his own in the first period against Team USA in Thursday’s contest, but the Americans elevated their game in the second frame and Slovakia wasn’t able to keep up.

Halak conceded four unanswered goals over the span of roughly 12 minutes before he was mercifully pulled from this contest with the score at 5-1. Montreal Canadiens netminder Peter Budaj replaced Halak, but that didn’t slow Team USA’s assault as Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown found the back of the net on the first two shots Budaj faced.

When Slovakia surprised the world by finishing fourth in the 2010 Winter Games, Halak was a big part of that, but the rest of the team is weaker than they were four years ago, especially after Marian Gaborik and Lubomir Visnovsky were ruled out due to injuries.

Assuming he doesn’t return in the third, Halak’s finishes with 20 saves on 25 shots. The U.S. went into the second intermission with a commanding 7-1 lead, with six of their goals coming within the span of 14 minutes during the middle frame.

  1. cofran2004 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Slightly after the second intermission began, the word “uncle” was heard being shouted from the slovakian locker room.

  2. jr507 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I was dogging our roster and bylsma all week but today I eat crow…and it tastes good.

    Great jump today and Shattenkirk was lethal jumping in. Lets hope we get the same Saturday from our boys and the Russians.

  3. jr507 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Spoke too soon. Here comes Russia.

    • buckeye044 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      Yeah, we’ll see how good the US is next game. Based on what I’ve seen, the officiating will not be an advantage to the Americans

      • cofran2004 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        I do NOT expect a fairly called game on saturday. Call it intuition, but for some reason, I don’t expect the officials to call too many penalties on russia…. no matter the infraction.

        “You. Yes you. Sit. Russia is greatest country in tournay. You call less penalty to proove, or say… something bad happen. I not say what.”

  4. buckyblackhawk - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Are these games on the radio? I can not find it anywhere, can someone please help?

    Thanks!

  5. prd797 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Two Hossas on Slovakia and it still isn’t enough…

  6. endusersolutions2013 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Eventhough I have HUGE respect for 81, I really hope that Slovakia does not make it out of their group. The less games Hossa plays, the stronger he will be for the rest of the Hawks regular season.

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