The U.S. men’s hockey team outshot its three opponents — convincingly, 95 to 60 — but lost every game at its only pre-Olympic tournament over the weekend.
It fell to Slovakia 2-1 on Friday, Russia 5-2 on Saturday and Germany 5-1 on Sunday. All three of those nations will be in the Olympic tournament. The U.S. was the only country in the four-team tournament not to notch a victory.
Slovakia and Russia are in the U.S.’ group in PyeongChang, along with Slovenia. A full Olympic hockey schedule is here.
“If you looked at the games and saw the opportunities we had, you would’ve thought that the scoreboard would look a lot different at the end of the games,” U.S. Olympic coach Tony Granato said after Sunday’s loss. “We created those chances. We just didn’t score. There were parts of lots of games where we were in complete control of the game territorially.”
It’s likely that the majority of the U.S. Olympic roster will be made up of Deutschland Cup players. Some NCAA players and possibly AHL players not on NHL contracts — who weren’t at the German tournament — could be part of the 25-man team for PyeongChang named New Year’s Day.
Three U.S. goalies, none with NHL experience, shared the net among the three Deutschland Cup games.
Ryan Zapolski, one of the top goalies in the Russian KHL this season, gave up four goals on 18 shots to Germany. He also played one period against Slovakia, letting in one goal on five shots.
Granato said it was difficult to evaluate over a three-day tournament and expects Zapolski to have a good chance of making the roster if he continues playing well this season.
Brandon Maxwell allowed four goals on 24 shots against a Russian team lacking its biggest KHL stars expected to join the team for PyeongChang. David Leggio played two periods against Slovakia, stopping 10 of 11 shots.
Bobby Sanguinetti, Mark Arcobello, Chad Kolarik and Broc Little scored the four U.S. goals in three games.
The U.S. team included two Olympians — captain Brian Gionta from 2006 and Ryan Malone from 2010.
“I think we learned about where we’re at,” Granato said. “The whole purpose of the tournament was get evaluations, see where you’re at. There was lots of positives, but when you don’t win some games, at the end of the day you’ve got to stay with the process of why we were here.
“That’s what we’ll do: move forward, try to learn from what happened and put together the team that we think can compete, do well and win in South Korea.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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