David Backes #42 of the US collides with Mitja Robar #51 in front of Luka Gracnar #40 of Slovenia in the third period during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day nine of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on Feb. 16. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
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Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Phil Kessel scores 3 to help US rout Slovenia 5-1

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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Phil Kessel scored two of his three goals in the opening 4:33 and became the first U.S. player with an Olympic hat trick in more than a decade, leading the Americans to a 5-1 win over Slovenia on Sunday.

The U.S. (3-0) earned an automatic spot in the quarterfinals.

RELATED: Follow the live medal count here

Kessel scored 1:04 after the puck dropped, showing that the Americans didn't have a hangover after their emotionally charged shootout win over Russia on Saturday. His third goal midway through the second period made him the first U.S. player to have a hat trick at the Olympics since John LeClair did it on Feb. 15, 2002, against Finland.

Ryan Miller was 17.6 seconds away from a shutout, but Marcel Rodman scored. Miller made 17 saves in his Sochi Games debut.

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