A dangling and dazzling Phil Kessel helped the United States clinch an automatic bye into the quarterfinals 24 hours after the Americans grabbed the attention of the sports world in dramatic fashion.
Kessel produced the first hat trick by an American player in the Olympics since John LeClair in 2002 to lift the U.S. to a 5-1 victory against Slovenia at Shayba Arena, the venue across the street from Bolshoy Ice Dome, where on SaturdayT.J. Oshie put his quick hands on display to lift the U.S. to a 3-2 shootout win against Russia.
The U.S. finished with eight of a possible nine points to win Group A at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It now waits to find out which nation it will face in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
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