After 3rd Period Comeback Team USA Falls In OT To Slovakia

Trailing 4-1 entering the third period. Team USA came at the Slovakia team with everything they had. A physical, and chippy game The Americans who represent the largest collection of the best Hockey players on the earth had their hands full with Slovakia.   

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Fast And Furious

Slovakia defeated the United States by a 5-4 score this afternoon in Ostrava to move into second place in Group B standings with five points behind only Sweden (six). Milos Kelemen got the winner, tipping a Simon Nemec shot at 3:56 of OT. The Americans staged a fierce comeback in the third period. Overcoming a 4-1 deficit to force the extra period and earn a vital point in the standings.

The Slovaks worked the energetic crowd into a frenzy early on. Opening the scoring at 3:17 off the rush. Andrej Kudrna took the puck down the right side and got the puck to Milos Kelemen in front. His re-direct fooled Alex Nedeljkovic. Nedeljkovic had to perform EBUG duties during the last U.S. game and started today’s game with teenager Trey Augustine as his backup.

The game opened and went end to end for much of the period. Punctuated by frequent scrums after the whistle that tested the patience of the two Canadian referees. Samuel Halavaj had to make a nice save off Johnny Gaudreau, and then Nedeljkovic stoned Kudrna on a partial break.

The ComeBack

 Slovakia made it 2-0 midway through the period after Michael Kesserling lost the puck inside the Slovak blue line. Captain Tomas Tatar took the puck up ice on a two-on-one, and as he was going to shoot, he lost control of the puck. No matter. Libor Hudacek was right there to stick it home at 11:26, scoring his third goal in as many games. 

Although the Americans dominated the second period in one respect, outshooting Slovakia, 21-7, they failed to dominate where it mattered more—the scoreboard. They struck at 4:48 to make it a 2-1 game when Matt Boldy got to a rebound after a Hlavaj save, but Slovakia answered back with two more goals to take control.

Simon Nemec made it 3-1 at 7:03 when his long one-timer beat Nedeljkovic between the pads, and less than two minutes later Patrik Koch scored on a long wrist shot through a tangle of players in front. That was enough for U.S. coach John Hynes, who took out Nedeljkovic and, for the second game in a row, looked to Augustine.

The Americans made a game of it again early in the third, making it a 4-2 score at 4::32. Shane Pinto took a long saucer pass from Joel Farabee and beat Hlavaj with a quick shot, silencing the crowd but lifting the U.S. bench.

Things started to get dicey for the Slovaks later in the period when captain Brady Tkachuk scored a highlight-reel goal. He danced around Patrik Koch and slid the puck between Hlavaj’s pads, and all of a sudden, a solid lead was now tenuous.

Less than three minutes later, we were back to scratch. Luke Hughes skated in over the blue line and snapped a shot over the glove of Hlavaj, tying the score and giving the Americans all the momentum.

Next up for Team USA; France on Tuesday.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.

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