Sochi 2014: U.S. Defeats Russia on Penalties in Men’s Ice Hockey Clash [Video]

On Saturday the United States triumphed in a thrilling Winter Olympics preliminary game with Russia.

The United States defeated Russia in a shoot-out to win a much-hyped group-stage ice hockey clash at Sochi 2014. The final score was 3-2 to the US, with Oshie’s game-winning penalty counting as the decisive goal.

“I did (feel pressure) a little bit, but then the puck hits your stick and you start skating,” said Oshie, who took six of the eight shootout chances for the Americans. “It’s just you and the goalie.

“I was fortunate enough to keep Sergei (Bobrovski) guessing and Quickie(American netminder Jonathan Quick)did his great job.”

Unlike NHL rules, international rules permit shooters to take multiple shots after the first three rounds of the shootout. Oshie had shot six times before giving the U.S. the win. He scored right after U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick stood his ground to force Ilya Kovalchuk to miss for the second time in four chances.

U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick of the Kings stopped 29 shots in regulation and overtime. Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovski of the Columbus Blue Jackets stopped 32.

President Vladimir Putin looked on as Oshie’s goal prompted US celebrations after Ilya Kovalchuk had missed.

“The US team is a good team, a good test for us,” said Russia captain Pavel Datsyuk. “I think our team played great tonight, but our result was not good. It’s one game. We need to play at the same level every time and we’ll be OK.”

As BBC News says, the hosts are under immense pressure to win Olympic gold in Sochi. No Russian team has won the title since the break-up of the Soviet Union, although some Russians took part in the “Unified Team”, representing six former Soviet republics, which won gold in 1992. They are now second in Group A after two games with the U.S. leading.

Russia closes out of the first round on Sunday against Slovakia, while the U.S. plays Slovenia, who won its first ever Olympic game against the Slovaks on Saturday. The victory over Russia puts the USA in the driver’s seat to win their group and earn a trip to the medal round quarterfinals.

“Everything is OK, nothing terrible has happened,” said Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk. “We played well and showed our character by equalizing at the end and now we will be getting ready for the future.”

“It’s only a preliminary game, everything will be decided in the semi-final and the final.”

The U.S. had taken a 2-1 lead at 9:27 of the third period on a power-play goal by Joe Pavelski, set up on a perfect cross-ice pass from Patrick Kane, but Pavel Datsyuk brought Russia even with his second goal of the game. Using Alexander Radulov as a screen, he rifled a nasty wrist shot past Quick at 12:44, with Kings winger Dustin Brown in the penalty box serving for a penalty he had taken in the offensive zone.

Russia scored first, at 9:15 of the second period. Datsyuk, who has been working his magic for the Detroit Red Wings for years, did it again for his homeland. He split the U.S. defense of John Carlson and Brooks Orpik and unleashed a wrist shot that beat Quick to the glove side, reports LA Times.

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