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LIVE GAME BLOG: USA vs Slovakia

12/31/2012, 4:00am EST
By USAHockey.com

Follow along live as Team USA takes on Slovakia with the playoff berth on the line.

Game Links & Downloads

TV Information: Game will be aired live on NHL Network-U.S. Full TV Info

Webcast: A live webcast is available on NHL.com

Live Stats: Full live stats are available on IIHF.com

Follow the live game updates below and join the conversation to the right on Twitter or via the comments field.

Be sure to tune in to NHL Network-U.S. to watch the action live and then follow us for post-game recaps, photos and videos.

Live Game Blog

End of Game: USA 9 - SVK 3

All-in-all it's exactly what Team USA needed. Lots of scoring and a victory that didn't come down to the wire. They now head to the quarterfinals with momentum and confidence. We'll be back later with a full recap, videos and more.

Be sure to comment in the area at right if you want to share your thoughts on the game or congratulate Team USA on the victory. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year from Ufa!

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Wide open net but Slovakia can't finish as their power play begins. Final minute of play in the game.

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Now Jones is called for cross checking, 4-on-4 for 1 minute, then 1 minute of power play coming for Slovakia

USA 9 - SVK 3

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3:16 - GOAL! Galchenyuk with the blast that beats Romanick to the near post glove side. Great feed from Jones at the point. With those players on the ice and so much space it was a matter of time only.

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3:47 - Dano slashes Murphy and the U.S. has a 4-on-3 PP. It's Murphy, Galchenyuk, Jones and Kuraly

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4:20 - Matis called for an obvious hit to the head. He is called for roughing but gets a 10 minute misconduct and is sent off. 4-on-4 hockey for 1 minute.

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4:55 - Trouba called for tripping. Back on the PK

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6:30 - Neither team is under a sense of urgency with the result almost certain

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8:43: Slashing penalty coming on Dano. The Slovakian leading scorer has been in the penalty box three times so far.

USA 8 - SVK 3

10:39 - GOAL - Slovakia breaks into the U.S. zone and sends a pass to the front of the net. The defenseman had his man tied up but the puck bounced off of a body and dropped straight down just outside the paint for Matis to pop the puck over a sprawled Gibson

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11:55 - Bardreau skates off shaken up after taking a post-whistle shot. No penalty called.

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Galchenyuk has an assist, but hasn't scored since the first game. He's on the hunt on the power play but can't find space or the opportunity to shoot. Power play ends

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Power play hasn't had a shot yet

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15:07 - Kolena mixes it up again and is called for charging on Trochek. He took a run at the American and put his team down again.

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Power play ends. Not a lot of activity, the U.S. isn't pressing as hard with the 6 goal lead.

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Three power play goals so far for Team USA today.

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19:01 - Tripping call against Bagin. Back to the power play for Team USA

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20:00 - We're underway. Teams at even strength.

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Team USA holds a 30-21 shot advantage after two periods. More importantly it has dominated the game like it needed to. A 6-goal advantage could easily be more and they've spread the offense around to people who had, before today, not scored.

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Kolena takes a run at Bardreau at the end of the period. Some frustration for Slovakia. Be back in a bit!

End of 2nd Period: USA 8 - SVK 2

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Vesey with a breakaway that is saved by Romancik!

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1:20 - Teams exchange a few big hits as things get chippy

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3:38 - Gibson fights off a redirection on a 2-on-1 that was targeted 5 hole, good save!

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5-on-3 ends, then Biggs comes out of the box. U.S. continues to be solid on the kill

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Trocheck has a shorthanded breakaway but can't put it home. He went backhand high but couldn't score

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Bardreau, McCabe and Murphy on the PK unit for Team USA. 1:14 of 5-on-3 left

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6:54 - Biggs called for holding so now it's going to be a 5-on 3 again for Slovakia

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7:11 - Miller is called for slashing while he was trying to gain a loose puck behind the Slovakian net. 4-on-4 then a Slovakia power play. Big glove save by Gibson then a whistle

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Vesey hauled down and Bires is going off for tripping, but Vesey kept the puck away for an extra 10 seconds while stickhandling from his knees.

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Biggs and Lucia on the assists. The U.S. isn't backing off, they want to get as many people going as possible

USA 8 - SVK 2

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10:00 - GOAL! Trocheck left alone in front of the net and he has time to deke, open up Romancik's legs and score five hole.

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McCabe bats a puck out of the air and deflected it out of the zone. Bagin's blast goes right into the USA on Gibson's chest. 17 seconds left until full strength. Back to 5-on-4

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Bardreau gloves down a puck and calmly skates it to center ice before dumping it in. He's had a strong game so far.

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12:42 - Trouba, Miller, Sieloff and Barber on the kill. Barber called for tripping so it's another 5-on-3 PK, the U.S. has had at least one in every game this tournament.

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Dano comes out of the box and fights off Reilly to take a shot on Gibson. The goalie made the save but Reilly is called for holding. Back on the PK

USA 7 - SVK 2

13:44 - GOAL! Trocheck was lurking in the high slot and Gaudreau returned a pass to his linemate and Trocheck sniped the goal home. Gaudreau is living up to his big game reputation.

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14:39 - Dano punched Kuraly in the face and takes a roughing penalty so the U.S. goes back to work on the advantage

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Gaudreau's goal is a big one, it re-establishes a 4 goal lead and snuffs out the momentum Slovakia had gained from the long powerplay.

USA 6 - SVK 2

15:05 - GOAL! Gaudreau walks in and walks through the defender and flicks a backhand across the goaltender to beat him underneath the arm. Slick goal, his second of the game.

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Power play ends

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Trouba shot leaves a big rebound but no one there to finish the play. Final minute of PP.

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16:52 - Now it's the U.S. with their second powerplay. Holding call on Matis for harassing Reilly at the U.S. blue line

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Full strength. Escaping with only one goal given up was a good result

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Biggs with a golden chance shorthanded but he somehow misses the open net with Romanick caught out of position

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Icing call on Slovakia. 1:20 left to kill

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20:00 It's Pietila, mcCabe, Bardreau and Murphy on the PK

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USA led shots 18-13 that period. They have 1:51 left to kill on the Gostisbehere slashing major. I had a second look at the penalty, not sure if it was a major but it was unecessary. it was away from the puck and going to be called every time.

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A minute and 51 seconds left in the power play for Slovakia when the second period begins. The major penalty against Gostisbehere was puzzling, but also could be a problem for the U.S. missing one of it's play makers.

Back in a little to answer any questions and update stats.

End of First Period: USA 5 - SVK 2

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Trouba blocks a shot with 30 seconds left! He's had a great tournament

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Off the crossbar! Close call. Gibson looked behind him

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Still 3 minutes of power play for Slovakia

USA 5 - SVK 2

1:25 - GOAL - Shot from the point came in and there was a scramble for the rebound, with Gibson on the ice the puck came free at the side of the net to Mraz who buried it.

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The PK has been strong throughout the tournament for the U.S. and it's going to be called on in a big way here.

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3:10 - Penalty coming to Gostisbehere and a 5 minute power play for Slovakia. I didn't see anything that serious. They are calling it a slashing penalty. Wow

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The U.S. has had the start it wanted, aside from the breakaway goal. They knew the Slovaks had counter punch power but have been constant with their pressure, chasing Nagy early.

USA 5 - SVK 1

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6:10 - GOAL! Powerplay goal. Some shoddy passing in the U.S. end that nearly ended up shorthanded turns back the other way quickly with Kuraly leading the charge. The puck came flying in from the boards and a rebound off of Romancik touched Kuraly and then was tapped in by Trouba, his fourth goal of the tournament.

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6:38 - Tripping on Slovakia's star Marko Dano and the U.S. powerplay goes to work with Galchenyuk, Kuraly and Barber

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Another defenseman finds the back of the net for the U.S., well actually the puck rolled over the line and stopped, but it still counts. Reilly had a big smile on his face after the goal, he knows it was a lucky bounce, but given how many unlucky ones the Americans have had this tournament, it's nice to see one go the Yanks' way.

USA 4 - SVK 1

8:14 - GOAL! Reilly bats at a fluttering puck and gets enough on it to deflect off of the back (I think) of Romancik and into the net.

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Trouba with two hits in the D zone to break up the play. Then Gaudreau's shot goes into the Slovakian crest and is saved on the other end.

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10:05 - Nice glove save on Hartman by Romancik who steps in to the middle of a feverish U.S. attack.

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Slovakia swaps goaltenders after the Gaudreau goal. He's one of the players the U.S. wants to get going so Housley has to be happy to see him end up on the goal column.

USA 3 - SVK 1

11:00 - GOAL! Gostisbehere shoots from the point and Gaudreau is there to pick up the rebound and backhand it past Nagy

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12:00 - Galchenyuk, Kuraly and Barber put on a show cycling in the offensive zone. Very good effort by a line that needs to find goals again after leading the U.S. against Germany

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Hartman makes a huge hit at the Slovakian bench. No penalty called even though Slovakia wanted one

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Defensemen continue to pile in the goals. He's the fourth defenseman to score a goal for Team USA.

USA 2 - SVK 1

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14:50 - GOAL! The captain takes a great feed from Vesey from the point as the defenseman snuck in and he flicked the backhand short side over the blocker. Slick goal and a huge momentum changer.

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That goal was exactly what Slovakia wants to do, they won a draw in their own zone and Matis caught the defense napping as he streaked down the middle. Turnovers are hurting the U.S.

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Wow, just like that we're back to tied.

USA 1 - SVK 1

15:41 - GOAL. A long pass to Matis makes it through for a breakaway and he beats Gibson stick side to the post on a wrister from the slot.

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15:55 - GOAL! Right after a huge save by Gibson off the turnover, Hartman hits Pietala with a pass and he relays the long feed to Bardreau for the breakaway and he roofs the puck over Nagy's glove to give the U.S. the early lead

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A bouncing puck in the U.S. zone that kept finding Slovakia players sticks ends up shot just wide of the top of the net by Gibson. dodged a bullet, then another turnover and almost goal

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18:00 - Icing against Slovakia, Housley sends out a fresh line to counter. It's Jones, Sieloff, Biggs, Lucia, Trocheck and Lucia

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Galchenyuk wrister makes it through but is saved by Nagy, then he flicks a backhand from an odd angle and it's gloved. Galchenyuk shows some early pop to his game

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Shot wristed in by Bardreau sticked out of play by Nagy

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20:00 - Housley sends out Hartman, Bardreau and Pietila to start with Jones and McCabe at defense. USA loses the opening draw

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Here we go! Sparse crowd so far on New Year's Eve afternoon, but then again the crowds have come in slowly each game so far. The U.S. is whooping it up and looks ready to get the win.

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I ran the game blog in Ottawa in 2009 when the U.S. lost to Slovakia in the quarterfinals. The Americans ran into a hot goaltender that game and Slovakia probably fees it has the blueprint to win the game. They will try to keep it close for as long as possible and wait to counter punch. Expect timely aggressiveness that will attack with the intent of creating a turnover and odd-man rush. The longer this stays tied or within 2 goals the better for Slovakia.

For the U.S., a fast start could not only help open up the Slovakian defense, it could also be the spark they've waited for on offense. If the Americans can grab an early lead expect them to keep pressing to get the forwards in a groove.

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10 minutes until puck drop. Yesterday the fans cheered for the U.S. against Canada, but it will be interesting to see what they do today against Slovakia.

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Warmups come to an end. Now the 20 minute countdown until puck drop. What is your prediction for the game? Comment in the area to the right.

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In goal for Team USA will be John Gibson, who has been stellar so far. He's exceptionally calm in net and when Canada had odd-man rushes and breakaways yesterday, his control served him well.

Slovakia counters with Adam Nagy, who has been the key to Slovakia hanging close to Russia and Canada. He has seen a huge amount of shots and will see even more today for sure. Team USA is eager to break its scoring slump and no matter what is going to shoot, shoot, shoot ... then shoot again.

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Slovakia's Marko Dano is the main threat, but don't overlook his linemate underage (Under-18) Martin Reway, who was very strong against Russia on opening night and creates a ton of opportunities for Dano and others.

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Teams are on the ice for warmups. The defensemen are playing catch like usual with their new d-partners.

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Remember to share your comments and questions to the right. I'll answer any questions as best as I can. Feel free to ask about the team, game or city.

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40 minutes until puck drop ...

Coach Phil Housley is looking for an offensive spark and has shuffled things around a bit.

New defensive pairs: Murphy/Reilly, Trouba/Gostisbehere, Jones/McCabe, Sieloff is the 7th defenseman

These new pairs seem to be set up to allow a strong defender to pair up with a partner who can spur the offense, specifically with Jones/McCabe. McCabe has been rock solid on defense and this allows the gifted Jones to spark the rush the other way with an at home defenseman as his partner.

Forward lines: Kuraly/Galchenyuk/Barber, Miller/Gaudreau/Vesey, Lucia/Biggs/Trocheck, Bardreau/Pietila/Hartman, Grimaldi as the 13th forward

Hosley reunites the Kuraly/Galchenyuk/Barber line that dominated game 1. Jim Vesey continues to play his way into more minutes and will now have a chance to help ignite Miller and Gaudreau into the goal column against Slovakia.

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We're one hour from game time. There are some line changes for Team USA. We'll be back soon to give you the full breakdown and prepare for the big game against Slovakia.

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