The United States and Olympic Athletes from Russia rebounded from upset losses with men's hockey triumphs Friday at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, adding to the tension of their Saturday showdown.

Ryan Donato, a 21-year-old Harvard University forward and son of a 1992 Olympian, scored two power-play goals in a 2-1 US victory over Slovakia, following Wednesday's over-time loss to Slovenia.

"It's a whirlwind experience. Getting a couple of goals felt good," Donato said. "It's a dream come true and scoring definitely helps."

Kirill Kaprizov, a 20-year-old left wing for CSKA Moscow, had a hat trick and ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk added two goals as the Russians humbled Slovenia 8-2, finally looking like a powerful force as expected after a 3-2 upset loss to Slovakia.

"We're the same team we were in the last game," Kovalchuk said. "First game we played five minutes. This time we played the whole 60."

The victories, each delighting jam-packed crowds of flag-waving supporters, kept both teams contending for a group-winner's bye to the quarter-finals.

The stakes only heighten the drama of the always-emotional USA-Russia meeting.

"I dreamed about playing against these guys growing up," Donato said. "We're going to have to stay focused and not get caught up in who we're playing."

OAR forward Mikhail Grigorenko said: "We know the United States is always going to play us tough."

Troy Terry, who led Denver's 2017 US college champions, dreamed of playing against former NHL stars Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk. Now he will.

"I grew up watching Datsyuk and Kovalchuk," he said. "For me it's just getting over the fact I'm playing those guys and knowing with my speed I'm able to make a difference.

"The more we can settle in and not make a big deal out of the game, the better we'll do."

The Russians, who last took Olympic gold in 1992, united after a team meeting.

"Everybody was trying to do too much. There were a lot of guys in their first Olympics who were nervous," Kovalchuk said. "We just had a good meeting with each other. We said just relax and play your game."

Slovenian scoring leader Jan Mursak, whose late goals swiped a US win, sees Russian scoring skills as superior.

"Against US, we just worked hard and played as team and it was enough, but here the players were a lot more skilled," he said. "Once they got a feeling they could score they pretty much outplayed us bad," he said.

"The Russians just played a way different style of hockey. If you have players like Kovalchuk... those skilled guys... they're going to make something out of nothing and when they get a chance they're going to score.

"I don't think Team US had any players that had this high-end skill or anything like that."

Donato, a 2014 Boston Bruins NHL Draft pick, scored from the high slot 7:10 into the game but Andrej Kudrna answered for Slovakia 25 seconds later. Donato netted the decider 2:51 into the third period, slipping the puck between Slovakian goaltender Jan Laco's pads.

"We're just concerned about getting shots and creating havoc around the net," Donato said. "The team gave us (young guys) confidence we could score goals and we're burying our chances."

"I like the way we played," US coach Tony Granato said. "We took a step forward."

Defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, 17, became the youngest Olympic hockey player since 1984 in his team's 1-0 triumph over Germany on Viktor Stalberg's goal 2:00 into the game.

Sweden plays for a quarter-final berth Sunday against Finland, which beat Norway 5-1 as Eeli Tolvanen, 18, scored twice.