By Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) – A third-period goal by Peter Ceresnak gave Slovakia a shock 3-2 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Wednesday as the gold medal favorites squandered a two-goal lead.
Ceresnak capitalized on delay of a game penalty taken by Ivan Telegin, unleashing a slap shot from the point that beat goaltender Vasili Koshechkin to his left with just over 10 minutes to play.
The Russians drew first blood as Vladislav Gavrikov and Kirill Kaprizov found the back of the net in the opening four minutes to jump in front 2-0.
But after a lightning start, the OAR lost their composure as Slovakia hit back with a pair of goals on four shots, including a breakaway by Martin Bakos.
After a scoreless second period, Slovakia took advantage of sloppy play by from the Olympic Athletes from Russia in the third as Ceresnak collected the winner on a powerplay off a second delay of game penalty.
The Russians next face Slovenia, surprise 3-2 winners over the United States, on Friday while Slovakia play the Americans.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Steve Keating and Ed Osmond)