The U.S. struck first late in the opening period when Garrett Roe kept a loose puck in the Slovenian zone, carried it behind the net and fed Brian O'Neill who was streaking into the slot.
One of the new things players on either side of the border war agree on is that the rivalry brings out the best with both teams.
While the loss is disappointing, it's not entirely detrimental to the United States' medal chances, as the group stages of the tournament are merely for seeding for the knockout stages to come. It would turn out to be the game-winning goal, sending Slovakia to the top of Group B.
As Team USA sat back in the hockey-equivalent of a prevent defense, Slovenia began peppering US goalie Ryan Zapolski with shots throughout the third period.
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Former 15-year National Hockey League veteran and team captain Brian Gionta leads the American roster for the tournament, which runs from Wednesday through February 24. Twenty-three others have represented the U.S.in worldwide competitions and captured 14 medals.
Only once has a team other than the US or Canada made the Olympic or Worlds title games. US clearly chose to nap out there today and that cost them big time. With under two minutes left in the third, Slovenia pulled its goalie, Gasper Kroselj, and Mursak scored to tie the game at 2.
USA goalie Brandon Maxwell, Jordan Greenway, left, and Ryan Donato, right.
American hockey fans will now surely lament the fact NHL players are not in the Olympics, more than they already have been, and the great amount of relative unknowns on the United States roster. The members of the current American team have been scattered across the globe and just found out on January 1 that they were on the team. Since the 1998 Nagano Games, the world's best hockey players meet every four years in the ultimate display of national pride and for worldwide bragging rights. The Americans outshot Slovenia 11-3 in the first period. Instead, many up-and-comershave a chance to prove their skills on Olympic ice in PyeongChang. But the USA likely has enough talent to open with a win.