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Team USA men's hockey picks up first win of Olympic games



Brian Rolston

Feb. 17, 2006

From USA Hockey

TORINO, Italy -- Team USA earned its first win of the XX Olympic Winter Games with a 4-1 decision over Kazakhstan at the Torino Esposizioni tonight. Four different U.S. players scored in the game, which saw the team open up a 3-0 first-period lead.

"I think we came out much better and much stronger tonight," said Peter Laviolette (Franklin, Mass.), head coach of the U.S. Olympic Men's Team. "We had more urgency on the puck. We played with a spark that we didn't have against Latvia."

Team USA got on the board at 1:34 of the first period when Chris Drury (Trumbull, Conn.) sent a centering pass to Bill Guerin (Wilbraham, Mass.), who fought off a check and ripped a one-timer into the top left corner of the net. Brian Rolston (Flint, Mich.) made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 8:31 when he took a Doug Weight (Warren, Mich.) pass at the point, backpedaled to the center of the ice and ripped a shot past Kazakhstan goaltender Vitaliy Kolesnik. Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.) completed the three-goal first for Team USA, when he scored his second goal of the young tournament by tipping in a John-Michael Liles (Zionsville, Ind.) shot for a power-play goal.

After a scoreless second period, Kazakhstan got on the board with a power-play goal at 11:02 of the third. Yevgeniy Koreshkov picked up a pass from Alexey Vassilchenko and deked around Rick DiPietro (Winthrop, Mass.). Team USA responded with a goal less than a minute later as Mike Modano (Livonia, Mich.) and Erik Cole (Oswego, N.Y.) teamed up on a give-and-go play, with Modano finishing it off for his first goal of the tournament.

The U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team returns to action on Saturday (Feb. 18), facing off against Slovakia at Torino Esposizioni at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EST). The game will be carried live by NBC.

NOTES: U.S. goaltender DiPietro made 11 saves in his Olympic debut ... Team USA outshot Kazakhstan, 36-12, including a 17-5 margin in the opening period.



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