Olympic Mens Hockey

USA Men's Hockey: Potential Quarterfinal Opponents, Olympic Standouts So Far

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The United States men’s hockey team came into the Olympics as the youngest squad in the tournament, but they’ve made some serious noise in the preliminary round, finishing things up with an undefeated record and earning a bye into the quarterfinals.

The American squad, thanks to their 3-2 victory over Germany on Sunday, also reeled off wins over China and Canada to get to 3-0 in preliminary round action, giving themselves the top seed in the elimination round.

Here is what you need to know about Team USA ahead of the quarterfinals in Beijing.

Standouts for Team USA So Far

Sean Farrell got the Americans off to a winning start against China, with a hat trick and two assists in the opening game, and he finished off the opening round of games with the most points of any player, with six total points through three games.

Forward Ben Meyers scored a pair of goals and dished out a pair of assists for the United States, while team captain Andy Miele also registered four points, with a goal and three assists to his credit.

Between the pipes, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Drew Commesso earned a pair of victories in group play, with an Olympics-leading .964 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average.

Canada has 22 total medals in the event, while the U.S. has 17.

Potential Quarterfinal Opponents

The Olympic brackets are now out for the playoffs, and the United States will play the winner of Tuesday’s game between Slovakia and Germany in the quarterfinals.

Both teams have a 1-2 record so far in the Olympics, with Slovakia’s lone win coming over Latvia. Germany, the reigning silver medalists in men’s hockey, lost to the U.S. and also lost to Canada, but did earn a win over China in the preliminary round.

After the quarterfinals, the bracket gets re-seeded, so it’s unclear which team the United States would play if they advance. They would, however, get the lowest seed remaining, as they earned the top seed in the tournament with their undefeated run through group play.

Puck drop for the United States’ quarterfinal game is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. Central time on Tuesday.

Could History Be Made?

The United States last won a medal in men’s hockey in the 2010 Olympics, but Sidney Crosby kept them from earning the gold as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to propel Canada to a home-soil win in Vancouver.

The U.S. has had other close brushes with gold medals, including in 2002 in Salt Lake City, but their last gold medal in Olympic competition came all the way back in 1980 when the “Miracle on Ice” team took home the title in Lake Placid.

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