By Laurence Heinen | Feb. 16, 2018, 6:50 a.m. (ET)
Ryan Donato (R) and Chris Bourque (L) celebrate after Donato scored against Slovakia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 at Gangneung Hockey Centre on Feb. 16, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

Led by Ryan Donato, the U.S. men’s ice hockey team recorded its first win of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Donato, a 21-year-old forward in his third year playing for the Harvard University Crimson, scored a pair of power-play markers, including the game-winning goal early in the third period of Team USA’s 2-1 win over Slovakia at Gangneung Hockey Centre on Friday.

Team USA goalie Ryan Zapolski turned aside 21 of 22 shots he faced to record the win, while forward Chris Bourque chipped in with a pair of assists.

Andrej Kudrna tallied the lone goal of the game for Slovakia 7:35 into the first period, just 25 seconds after Donato opened the scoring for Team USA.

Slovakian netminder Jan Laco did his best to keep his team in the game with 29 saves.

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It was a bounce-back win for the Americans, who began the preliminary round on Wednesday with a disappointing 3-2 overtime setback to Slovenia.

Team USA will wrap up the preliminary round with a tough test against Olympic Athletes from Russia on Saturday (9:10 p.m. Korea/7:10 a.m. ET).

Aside from 39-year-old captain Brian Gionta, the U.S. squad is made up of athletes making their Olympic debut. Gionta previously played for the U.S. team that finished fourth at the 2006 Games in Torino.

Donato, whose dad Ted starred for the U.S. team that finished fourth at the 1992 Games in Albertville, is one of four American players who are still in college, while the others either play professionally in Europe or in the American Hockey League.

For live video and highlights, head to the networks of NBC and NBCOlympics.com.