(Photo credit: USA Today Sports)
It marks the first American hatty at the Winter Games since John Leclair turned the trick at Salt Lake in 2002. Leclair accomplished the feat during a tournament-opening 6-0 rout of Finland.
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Kessel, who came into today's game with four points through his first two contests, opened the scoring just 1:04 into the affair, converting a Joe Pavelski pass to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. Just over three minutes later Kessel was at it again, converting another Pavelski setup (with a secondary marker going to Brooks Orpik.)
The Maple Leafs forward finished the hatty midway though the second period after converting a pass from - who else? - Pavelski, which gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead. Ryan McDonagh scored with just under eight minutes remaining in the frame to give the Americans a four-goal lead heading into the second intermission.