U.S. downs Switzerland 3-1 in men’s hockey opener

The United States won the opening match in men’s Olympic hockey, beating Switzerland 3-1 at Canada Hockey Place on Tuesday.

Bobby Ryan, David Backes and Ryan Malone scored for the U.S., while Roman wick replied for Switzerland.

Team U.S.A. came out flying in the early moments of the first period, successfully cycling the puck in the rival zone and generating several scoring chances. But the Swiss were able to settle things down and play a tight checking game for the majority of the period.

Ryan scored the first goal of the tournament with 1:01 remaining in the opening period as he picked up the puck in the slot after a broken play and fired a wrist shot past his teammate, and Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Backes led the charge in the second period with a beautiful solo effort, going end to end and blowing by defender Yanick Weber before deking out Hiller and sliding the puck into the net.

Malone scored a powerplay goal at 8:25 of the second to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead.

With Raffaele Sannitz in the box for hooking, the Americans managed to control the play for nearly a full two minutes before Malone was able to slam home a rebound off a Ryan Suter point shot.

Wick scored the lone Swiss goal as Ryan Miller attempted to break up a cross-ice pass only to knock the puck into his own net with 10:15 remaining in the third period.

Despite outplaying Switzerland for most of the game, the U.S. only made two shots on goal in the final frame.

Aside from a miscue on the lone goal against, Miller played strong and finished with 14 saves, making several big saves that helped prevent the Swiss from gaining any momentum throughout the game.

Hiller was solid in net for Switzerland, making 21 saves in a losing effort.

Both Switzerland and the United States will be back on the ice Thursday as the Americans will take on Norway, while the Swiss will face Canada.

About this article

By: Mackenzie Liddell
Posted: Feb 16 2010 4:49 pm
Filed under: Winter Games