Phil "The Natural" Kessel Leads Team USA To A Win

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

If you slept through the first 5 minutes of Team USA's game versus Team Slovenia this morning, you missed 2 goals by Phil Kessel. Being the magnanimous man that he is, Kessel didn't want to deprive you of witnessing his majesty, so he went ahead and scored a third goal mid-way through the second period. A natural hat trick at the Olympics. Not too shabby Phil. Not too shabby.

Ryan McDonagh scored about 1 minute after Kessel's third goal to give Team USA a 4-0 lead. David Backes scored the fifth and final goal for the team. Ryan Miller played very well, but with just over 17 seconds left in regulation, Team Slovenia manged to score. Slovene goalie, Luka Gracnar, played a far stronger game than the score indicated at the tender age of 21. The star of Team Slovenia, Anze Kopitar, did not play for parts of the 2nd and 3rd periods with what was reported to be some sort of illness. The good news for him and the L.A. Kings is that it was not an injury keeping Kopitar off of the Slovene bench.

After the initial push by Team USA early in the 1st period, Team Slovenia embraced the "Score Effects" and made an excellent push offensively. They dominated possession for the remainder of the 1st period and the start of the 2nd period. Ultimately, the skill and speed of the Americans proved too much to handle even for the formidable Slovene forecheck.

Derek Stepan made his first appearance for Team USA with 4:59 TOI, the lowest on the team by far. Ryan Kesler, Zach Parise and Patrick Kane led the forwards with 18:01, 16:26 and 16:07 TOI. Ryan Suter and Ryan McDonagh led the defensemen with 20:40 and 19:38 TOI.

Here's the Corsi data for your perusing pleasure.

Team/Situation

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

Totals

USA vs. SLO

2-16-14

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

USA/5v5

16

40.00%

27

71.05%

20

47.62%

63

52.50

SLO/5v5

24

60.00%

11

28.95%

22

52.38%

57

47.50

USA/5v4

N/A

N/A

5

71.43%

3

60.00%

8

66.67%

SLO/5v4

5

83.33%

3

100%

7

100%

15

93.75%

USA/4v5

1

16.67%

0

0.0%

0

0.0%

1

6.25%

SLO/4v5

N/A

N/A

2

28.57%

2

40.00%

4

33.33%

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