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Avalanche Olympic Update: Feb. 19

by Brendan McNicholas / Colorado Avalanche
Paul Stastny and the United States defeated Jonas Holos and Norway by a 6-1 final on Thursday afternoon at Canada Hockey Place.  Later in the evening, Slovakia knocked off Russia 2-1 in the seventh round of a shootout.  Peter Budaj did not play for the second straight night.

Ruslan Salei will be the only Avalanche Olympian in action on Friday, as Belarus will take on Sweden at 1:00 p.m. MT (MSNBC, RDS). Salei, who is serving as captain of his national team, played 19 minutes, 42 seconds in Belarus' opener, a 5-1 loss to Finland on Wednesday. The 35-year-old defenseman is making his third appearance at the Olympic Winter Games. Click here for a preview of Belarus-Sweden.

USA Improves To 2-0 With 6-1 Win Over Norway
Twelve different players factored in the scoring for Team USA as the United States downed Norway, 6-1, on Thursday in the second game of the Olympic Winter Games for both teams.  With the victory, the U.S. improved to 2-0-0-0 and will face Canada in its final preliminary-round game on Sunday (Feb. 21).  Stastny and Holos were both held off the scoresheet. Phil Kessel (1-1--2), Ryan Malone (1-1--2), Zach Parise (0-2--2), Joe Pavelski (0-2--2) and Brian Rafalski (2-0--2) paced the U.S. with two points each. Click here for a full recap from

Highlights: Check out highlights from USA/Norway on

Statistics: Click here for Team USA's statistics through two games.

Showdown Sunday: Next up for the United States is a Group A showdown with Canada on Sunday (Feb. 21). Team USA has a chance to win the group stage and earn a bye into Wednesday's quarterfinals. The Americans have six points through two games while Canada has five after edging Switzerland in a shootout on Thursday. Puck drop on Sunday is 5:45 p.m. MT (MSNBC, CTV).

Next Up For Norway: Norway will finish out its preliminary round schedule on Saturday against Switzerland (1:00 p.m. MT).

Statistics: Click here for Norway's statistics through two games.

Ice Man: Holos is leading all Olympians in ice time through two games at just over 28 minutes per contest (28:06). He logged a game-high 28:15 of ice time in the loss to Team USA on Thursday after playing 27:57---which included a whopping 48 shifts---in the loss to Canada on Tuesday.  Holos is also leading all players in total shifts (87) and shifts-per-game (43.5).

Slovakia Knocks Off Russia In Shootout
Pavol Demitra scored in the shootout to give Slovakia a 2-1 victory against Russia on Thursday night at Canada Hockey Place.  Jaroslav Halak stopped 36-of-37 shots faced and six-of-seven shootout attempts. Marian Hossa scored the tying goal at 9:48 of the third period. Click here for a Slovakia/Russia recap on

Highlights: Watch video highlights from the Slovakia/Russia game on

Next Up For Slovakia: Slovakia will close out its preliminary round schedule on Saturday versus Latvia (5:30 p.m. MT).

Feature Story:'s Dave Lozo writes on the link between the Stastny and Suter families dating back to the 1980 Olympics.

Player Tracker: Interested in following all of your favorite NHL players at the Olympic Winter Games? will be updating its player tracker throughout the Games, providing brief updates on how every NHL player has been faring in Vancouver.
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