The United States hockey team saw its first action of the Olympics Tuesday against Switzerland.
The first period began with a bang, as the U.S. bombarded Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller with numerous shots throughout the first 10 minutes of the game. The Swiss defense, however, recovered and held the U.S. to only one shot in their first power-play attempt.
The game continued to be a physical affair with the puck remaining in the Swiss zone for the majority of the period until the 19 minute mark, when Bobby Ryan was able to score an unassisted goal on a deflection off a Swiss player. Ironically, Ryan and Swiss goalie Hiller both play for the Anaheim Ducks.
The U.S. took their 1-0 lead into the second period, and added to it just six minutes in. After an exceptional save by U.S. goalie Ryan Miller, David Backes took the rebound end to end for a fast-break goal.
A few minutes later Ryan Malone added a power play goal off the rebound off a shot by Ryan Suter to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead, a lead they would take into the third period.
With 10 minutes to play in the game Switzerland finally got on the scoreboard after a power play goal from Roman Wick.
Team U.S.A. was able to hold off the Swiss advances for the remainder of the game to win 3-1.
The U.S. put 24 shots on goal in contrast to the Swiss’ 15. Most of the shots for the U.S. came in the first two periods, as not much was going for them offensively in the third.
The young U.S. team is not favored for medal contention this year, but today they showed they have the firepower to score goals. Add that to the impressive performance by goalie Miller, and you’ve got a legitimate chance at a medal for the Americans.
The U.S skates again against Norway on Thursday.