The United States men’s hockey team needed a win in their second game of pool play of the 2018 Winter Olympics to earn an automatic bid into the quarterfinals. They earned that result thanks in large part to the play of University of Denver junior forward Troy Terry.
The Highlands Ranch, Colo. product was instrumental in a 2-1 victory over Slovakia that now puts the U.S. atop the Group B standings with four points.
Terry was on the ice for both Team USA goals, both scored by his linemate Ryan Donato, and registered an assist in the win. Additionally, Terry drew a penalty that set up a power play and was crucial on defense late in the third period as the U.S. battled to hang on for the win.
The Americans opened the scoring at the 7:10 mark of the game (first period) when Terry skated into the slot before dropping the puck back to Donato who fired it past Jan Laco. The goal came on the power play after a hooking penalty by Marek Hovorka.
Slovakia answered immediately win an even-strength goal 25 seconds later.
The quick response could have been disheartening to the U.S. team that had surrendered a game-tying goal with less than 90 seconds remaining two days prior in an overtime loss to Slovenia. Facing a Slovakia team that had already defeated the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR), the U.S. could hardly afford another loss.
Terry drew a boarding penalty later in the first period, but the U.S. was unable to capitalize. Terry had a prime scoring opportunity inside of 2:00 in the frame, but was denied by Laco.
The two sides broke at the first intermission tied at one and would skate the next 20 minutes at that same score.
The U.S. broke the tie, again on the power play, when Donato beat Laco five-hole with assists from Marc Arcobello and Chris Bourque.
Terry had his only major slip-up in the contest when he took a high-sticking penalty less than one minute after the U.S. took the lead. Fortunately, his teammates killed the penalty and held the lead.
Slovakia did not relent, but the U.S. was exceptionally strong on defense in the final frame. Terry was particularly active, controlling the puck in the neutral zone and making key poke checks with the Slovakians on the attack.
Terry logged 17:15 ice time, tied with Donato for fourth-most on the night for the U.S. He also registered one shot on goal in each period for a total of three.
The U.S. next faces the OAR, who defeated Slovenia 8-2 in the second game of preliminary round play. With a win and an overtime loss, the U.S. is in good shape with four points. The OAR team, who lost to Slovakia, can leapfrog them in the standings with a win in the final game of round-robin play.