US Hockey is one step closer to Olympic gold with win

Though people aren't watching, the college player led team is poised to make serious noise if they can push past the Czech Republic.

Kahron Spearman

The USA men's ice hockey team continued an incredible and unlikely pursuit of its first Olympic gold in 38 years with a dominating 5-1 win over Slovakia in the qualification playoff game at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games at the Gangneung (South Korea) Hockey Center.

Ryan Donato secured two goals, and Troy Terry accumulated three assists. Both are collegiate players - as are a majority of the players - since the NHL has banned its players from participating in the Winter Games.

The team now advances to the quarterfinal round to play the Czech Republic on Feb. 21. 

I think people saw tonight we have a very fast team and a team that can play good hockey, Terry said. “So we have a lot of belief in our team and were excited to keep going.

Troy Terry
University of Denver

The NHL's unusual decision to ban its players from representing their countries during the Winter Olympics has had a detrimental effect on NBC's ratings. 

Moreover, it runs contrary to the NHL's mission to grow the game globally. It also put Team USA in a situation where they had to assemble a team from scratch - in less than a calendar year. 

NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus already admitted that ratings on hockey are down precipitously. However, This scenario could change in short order as the team pushes for medals.