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Team USA Wins 3-1

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Jack Johnson congratulates Ryan Miller after Team USA's 3-1 win.
VANCOUVER, B.C. - David Backes (Blaine, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Minnesota State Univ.), Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh, Pa./Tampa Bay Lightning/St. Cloud State Univ.) and Bobby Ryan (Cherry Hill, N.J./Anaheim Ducks) each scored to pace the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team to a 3-1 victory over Switzerland here Tuesday in its first game of the XXI Olympic Winter Games.

Highlights | Full Replay | Brown Post Game | Photos

"This was a very good opening game for the whole team today," said Ron Wilson, head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. "It was the first Olympic experience for a lot of our players and I loved our discipline. We're learning more about each other every day and we want to get better with each game."

After both teams traded early scoring chances, Ryan gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead at 18:59 of the first period. A Swiss clearing attempt was knocked down by Ryan near the blue line, who slipped the puck to Brooks Orpik (Amherst, N.Y./Pittsburgh Penguins/Boston College). The defenseman's shot attempt was swatted down by a Swiss defender in the high slot, where Ryan picked up the loose puck and fired a shot that beat Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller high to the glove side.

In the middle stanza, the U.S. scored two more goals to take a 3-0 advantage. After U.S. netminder Ryan Miller (East Lansing, Mich./Buffalo Sabres/Michigan State Univ.) made a sprawling save, Backes collected the rebound and skated end-to-end down the left-wing boards, beating a Swiss defender before cutting toward the net and slipping the puck past Hiller's outstretched left pad at 5:52.

While on the power play, Malone gave Team USA a 3-0 lead at 8:25 of the second period. Ryan Suter (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/Univ. of Wisconsin) thwarted a Swiss clearing attempt at the blue line and fired a shot on net, where Malone and Joe Pavelski (Plover, Wis./San Jose Sharks/Univ. of Wisconsin) were stationed. Malone knocked the puck past Hiller during the ensuing scramble.

Switzerland cut Team USA's advantage to 3-1 with a power-play goal at 9:45 of the third period. But Miller and the U.S. defense held strong, sending Team USA to the opening-game victory. Miller made 14 saves in the win, while Hiller turned aside 21 shots in the losing effort.

NOTES: The U.S. went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Switzerland was 1-for-2 ... David Backes, Ryan Malone and Bobby Ryan all notched their first career Olympic Winter Games goals ... For Team USA's full roster, click here ... Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, with Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and John Tortorella, head coach of the New York Rangers, serving as assistant coaches ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. National Teams.

Scoring By Period

SUI 0 - 0 - 1 - 1
USA 1 - 2 - 0- 3

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Ryan (unassisted), 18:59. Penalties: SUI, Blindenbacher (holding), 9:49.

Second Period - Scoring: 2, USA, Backes (unassisted), 5:52; 3, USA, Malone (Suter), 8:25 (pp). Penalties: SUI, Sannitz (hooking), 6:53; SUI, Weber (delay of game), 11:21.

Third Period -
Scoring: 4, SUI, Wick (Domenichelli, Streit), 9:45 (pp). Penalties: USA, Pavelski (hooking), 4:49; USA, Suter (roughing), 8:32.

Shots by Period
SUI 5 - 4 - 6 - 15
USA 8 - 14 - 2 - 24

Goaltenders (SH/SV)

SUI, Hiller, 60:00; 21-of-24
USA, Miller, 60:00; 14-of-15

Power Play: SUI 1-2; USA 1-3
Penalties: SUI 3-6; USA 2-4

Vyacheslav Bulanov (RUS), Daniel O'Halloran (CAN); Linesmen-Jean Morin (CAN), Yurly Oskirko (RUS) Attendance: 16,706
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