NBC Olympics staff will select three stars to spotlight special performers from each day’s competition.
Troy Terry, United States: The playmaking forward won’t get the same credit as a goal scorer, but Terry’s electric speed has fueled the American offense through four games of the tournament. The 20-year-old picked up three assists in USA’s 5-1 victory against Slovakia to advance to the quarterfinals. He demonstrated an understanding of the game well beyond his years as he curled in the offensive zone, creating plenty of space for James Wisniewski to launch a one-timer to give the U.S. a two-goal lead just 44 seconds after he helped set up Ryan Donato’s opening goal. Terry also slipped a defender behind the Slovakian net preceding his pass to a cutting Mark Arcobello as the U.S. took a commanding three-goal lead. Next up for Terry and Team USA: the Czech Republic.
Alexander Bonsaksen, Norway: For the first time since 1994, Norway can celebrate an Olympic hockey victory thanks to Bonsaksen’s overtime-winning goal against Slovenia Tuesday. The Norwegian defender patiently waited at the point until a clear path to the back of the net emerged. Before the Games began, the lone Norwegian NHL player, Mats Zuccarello, told the New York Post, “I’m the only [NHL player] that’s missing, so maybe we have a chance to win a game for the first time.” Zuccarello will be proud: Bonsaksen and the rest of the club are moving on to the quarterfinals.
Ryan Donato, United States: The 21-year-old has continued to produce offensively, scoring another two goals vs. Slovakia to tie Ilya Kovalchuk and Kirill Kaprizov for the tournament lead on the men’s side. Donato wired two wrist shots past the Slovakian net minder to lead the offensive charge for USA. He opened the scoring when he snapped a shot over the glove of Jan Laco at 1:36 of the second period. He then sealed the victory when he dashed down the left wing and wired a wrister on the short side.
Eeli Tolvanen, Finland: Another game, another monster night from the 18-year-old. Tolvanen dished out three assists to help Finland into the quarterfinals with a 5-2 victory over South Korea. Competing in a field featuring the likes of Kovalchuk and four-time NHL All-Star Pavel Datsyuk, the teenager has recorded the most points in the tournament (9) so far, and will look to add to that tally with a chance at a medal on the line against Canada.