PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – You could never tell that Jordan Greenway had done something historic.
The 6-foot-6 behemoth from Boston University became the first African-American in Team USA history to score an Olympic goal on Wednesday. It should have been the game-winning goal. It turned out to be one goal too little.
The Americans fizzled here against Slovenia, allowing a game-tying tally with less than two minutes to play, and then allowing a sudden-death goal only 38 seconds into overtime. Final: 3-2. The night’s last on-ice scene was U.S. goalie Ryan Zapolski in a heap, the puck behind him in the net. Brutal.
So Greenway stood in front of reporters and spoke softly in resignation.
“Exciting to get my first one,” he said without a trace of excitement. “Just rather get the win tonight.”
Youthful enthusiasm had drowned in youthful disappointment. It may yet be the story of this non-NHL team. It’s certainly the story of its first preliminary game.
“I thought we played a really good game,” Greenway said. “We just didn’t find a way to finish it.”
He’s right. The Americans played terrifically well for two periods, shutting down Slovenia and looking like a team that was impervious to first-night jitters. Then in the third, Slovenia brought all of its energy and its ammo and the U.S. eventually cratered.
“We got a little on our heels, probably let off the gas a little bit,” said head coach Tony Granato.