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Team USA cruises in opener with a sloppy win!!!!  

The Men's Ice Hockey opener for the 2010 Winter Olympics kicked off today and the first match was between the United States and Switzerland. USA were able to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first add two in the second and skate to a 3-1 win. However the team was sloppy through parts of the game leading to many odd man rushes that the Swiss just didn't hit the net on and couldn't capitalize.

The Americans did it with their big boys in scoring department, not the guys who you expected to score in Zach Parise, Patrick Kane and Peter Stastny but literally their big boys with Bobby Ryan, Ryan Malone and David Backes applying the goals for the American team.

Bobby Ryan got the American squad on the board at the end of first with a blazing wrist shot that sailed by Jonas Hiller, the two are teammates on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

USA took the 1-0 lead into the locker room and put together a good second period. Period two David Backes put on a rush of speed flying around the Swiss defenseman and tucked one in past the pads of Hiller that was the highlight goal of the game. Tampa Bay Lightning power forward Ryan Malone would make it a 3-0 game poking in a Suter blast from the point on the power play.

Although Ryan Miller didn't have much work facing a total of 15 shots, he did make a couple of key saves including a big save that lead to the David Backes rush and goal. The one goal he did let in third period was a mistake of his own that he tried to poke check but the puck bounced over his stick and rolled in on his pad to put the Swiss on the board and ruining his bid for the shut out. The last Team USA shut out was in 2002 by Mike Richter against Germany.

Team USA only had one full practice together as a team and at times in this game it showed. Lucky for them they faced off against the Swiss who aren't one of the dominating teams on paper in the tournament. Lack of practice and putting on the Red White and Blue the team showed signs of being nervous. The young USA defense turned the puck over too many times that lead to odd man rushes. Teams like Canada and Russian will turn those mistakes into goals.

Next up for the US is Norway on Thursday, another game they should win and as these games go by I believe this group will get tighter and stronger or trouble lurks ahead. No Olympic games are automatic as every game will be a test, Team USA's biggest test will be Sunday night in the highly anticipated rivalry match against Canada.

 

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