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U.S. men’s hockey upbeat after loss to Slovenia

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 5 - United States v Slovenia

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 14: Brian O’Neill #9 of the United States celebrates with teammates Jonathon Blum and Garrett Roe #11 after scoring a goal on Gasper Kroselj #32 of Slovenia in the first period during the Men’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at Kwandong Hockey Centre on February 14, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — There were smiles, laughs and enthusiastic goal celebrations. It seems the Americans have found their missing energy.

At practice, anyway.

A day after blowing a two-goal, third-period lead and losing to Slovenia in overtime to open Olympic play, the United States was back at practice feeling upbeat and confident. The Americans will face Slovakia on Friday.

“We’re excited,” alternate captain Noah Welch said. “For 40 minutes, we proved that we’re a pretty dangerous team. Had a great video session today. Coaches did a good job of pointing out what we need to be better at, and then the team came out and had probably our best, most upbeat, quick-paced practice that we’ve had since we’ve been here.”

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