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OLYMPICS

Quick to start for Team USA in hockey opener

Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - The United States will go with Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick in net when it begins play Thursday in the men's hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics.

USA Hockey announced the decision via its Twitter feed on Wednesday morning, revealing that Quick would start between the pipes when the Americans take on Slovakia in preliminary round action on Thursday.

Team USA has three goaltenders in Sochi -- Quick, Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres and Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings -- but the starting job was assumed to be a battle between Quick and Miller.

Quick has better numbers than Miller during the 2013-14 NHL campaign, but the Sabres goalie was the hero for Team USA during its silver-medal run at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Miller was named the most valuable player of the 2010 Olympic tournament, ending the competition in Vancouver with a .946 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.35. He stopped 36-of-39 shots in the gold medal game against Canada, but couldn't prevent Sidney Crosby from tallying the game- winner in overtime of a 3-2 triumph for the Canadians.

Quick was picked as the third goaltender for the U.S. in 2010, but didn't see any action in the tournament.

Quick, 28, is 16-13-2 with a 2.18 GAA and .911 save percentage in 32 games for the Kings this season. The 33-year-old Miller is 14-22-3 with a 2.74 GAA and .923 save percentage in 39 tests for the lowly Sabres in 2013-14.