Kevin Allen

 |  USA TODAY Sports

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The U.S. men’s hockey team put itself in a hole in the opening game of the Olympics by losing 3-2 in overtime to Slovenia.

The Slovenians pulled their goalie to score the tying goal in the closing minutes and then won it 38 seconds into overtime on a goal by Jan Mursak. 

The United States had a 2-0 lead entering the third period thanks to goals by Brian O’Neill and Jordan Greenway. 

In the preliminary round, each of the 12 teams in the Olympics plays the three opponents in their group, which sets up the a seeding for the elimination round. All 12 teams advance to the next round, but the top team in each group and the overall fourth-ranked team (total scoring is tiebreaker) receive a bye in the first round.

Teams receive three points for regulation wins, two points for wins in overtime/shootout and one point for an overtime/shootout loss.

The Americans next will play Slovakia on Friday.

 

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