Atlanta Thrashers forwards Marian Hossa and Peter Bondra each had a goal as Slovakia edged the United States 2-1 in Olympic men's ice hockey action today.
The unbeaten Slovakians have been one of the big surprises of a tournament that has produced several, including Switzerland's 2-0 upset of Canada eariler in the day to knock the defending gold medallist from the unbeaten ranks.
While Slovakia moved top of the Group B standings with a mark of 3-0, the US slipped to 1-1-1 and will have work to do if they are to advance to the quarter-finals.
Right from the opening face-off the contest was played at a furious pace, highlighted by non-stop end-to-end action and a riveting goaltenders' duel between American Rick DiPietro and Slovakia's Peter Budaj for two periods.
The Slovakians got on the scoreboard first late in the second period, Hossa scooping up the puck along the boards, skating in and snapping a low shot past DiPietro.
The Americans answered back with 1:34 left in the period when Brian Rolston unleashed a shot from the top of the left face-off circle that Budaj could only wave at as the puck whistled into the net.
Slovakia retook the lead 1:48 into third when Bondra rifled a shot through a crowd in front of the US net.