By Dory LeBlanc
"проделка" is Russian for "hat trick." After Sunday's dominating win over Team Slovenia, it may be changed to "Kessel."
Phil Kessel scored the first goal 1:04 into the contest and Team USA never looked back, defeating the Slovenes 5-1 on Sunday. Kessel's linemate Joe Pavelski picked up all three assists, while James van Riemsdyk notched a secondary assist on his second score.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh picked up the fourth goal for Team USA and David Backes' heads up skate-to-stick goal off a pass from Ryan Callahan sealed the victory for the Americans 3:26 in to the third period.
Kessel's three-goals was Team USA's first Olympic hat trick since John LeClair's hatty against Finland at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Ryan Miller, who led USA to a silver medal in Vancouver, got his first start between the pipes in Sochi with a tremendous performance - stopping 17 of Slovenia's 18 shots. Miller was holding on to a shut out 59:42 into the tilt when Marcel Rodman found the net with just under 18 seconds to go.
With the win, Miller moves into second all-time in American Olympic wins with six, one behind John McCartan - who was in net for USA when it took home the gold medal in Squaw Valley in 1960.
Team USA ends preliminary play with three victories, one coming in a shoot out against Russia on Saturday, and sees its next action when the Qualification round opens Tuesday.
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