February 16, 2018 / 5:41 AM / in 8 months

Olympics-Ice hockey -U.S. men top Slovakia 2-1 in preliminary play

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Ryan Donato scored twice on the powerplay to lift the U.S. men’s ice hockey team to a 2-1 victory on Friday in what is shaping up as a wide-open Olympic tournament.

After a sluggish start for both teams, with only three shots on net through the first six minutes, the U.S., who lost in Wednesday’s opener to Slovenia, jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a powerplay goal as Marek Hovorka was off for hooking.

Breaking out of the U.S. zone, Chris Bourque fed a streaking Troy Terry who drew the Slovak defense and dumped it behind him to a trailing Donato.

Donato, whose father played on the U.S. team in 1992 in Albertville, France, snapped it past Slovak goaltender Jan Laco.

The Slovaks, who stunned tournament favourites Olympic Athletes from Russia in their opener, tied it 25 seconds later, when Tomas Surovy chipped a soft pass out of the corner to Andrej Kudrna, who tipped it between U.S. goalie Ryan Zapolski’s pads.

Donato put the U.S. back on top on the powerplay again in the third.

He took a pass from Mark Arcobello, next to the left post, spun and pulled the puck to his forehand in front of Laco and jammed it in.

Both teams are now 1-1 in the tournament. (Reporting By Dan Burns; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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