Courtesy of USA Hockey

Americans waking up early to watch the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team (1–0) take on China (0–1) in Beijing were treated to a stunning display of hockey as the Red, White and Blue trounced the hosts, 8–0.

While winger Sean Ferrell — a first year at Harvard — scored a hatrick and five points, Bulldog alumni Brian O’Neill ’12 and Kenny Agostino ’14 also made statements on the starting line. 

“From day one, we’ve always been talking about our team being on the attack,” Ferrell said to the IIHF. “We had a lot of chances in the first, some that maybe could have gone in, but we just stayed with it and eventually the goals came.”

The Americans became more comfortable working as a team throughout the game. With just one goal scored in the first period, Team USA settled in and knocked in three in the second and four in the third. 

O’Neill was one of six Americans to convert on the night. Kicking the puck to his stick off a behind-the-back pass from captain Miele, the Yale alum made it a three-goal game with 8:47 left in the second period.

“I think my game has grown a lot [since the 2018 Olympic Games], so I feel like I’m in a really good spot in my career,” O’Neill said to USA Hockey.

O’Neill is the only player on the U.S. roster with prior Olympics experience, with one goal and three assists over five games in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. Although he does not wear a ‘C’ or ‘A’ on his sweater, his age and experience have made him one of the de facto leaders of the young American team.

While Kenny Agostino ’14 did not assist on the O’Neill goal, he made his mark on the Olympic ice with 14:40 spent on the ice and one shot over 60 minutes. He also took a two-minute minor for tripping in the first period.

On the defense, goaltender Drew Commesso was a brick wall on net, recording the first shutout for the U.S. in the Olympics since Ryan Miller saved all 19 shots against the Swiss in 2010.

“It was a good start for us and I thought we got better as the game went along with the third period being our best,” head coach David Quinn told USA Hockey.

The U.S. men’s team will next take the ice at 11:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 11 — Sunday at 12:10 p.m. in Beijing — against Canada.

Melanie Heller currently serves as the Sports Editor for the Yale Daily News. She previously reported on women's hockey. Originally from Potomac, MD, she is a senior in Silliman College double majoring in Economics and Humanities.