The folks in Western New York showed no mercy on Buffalo-basher Emerson Etem, who was booed throughout Team USA's 6-1 victory over Slovakia. He was jeered loudest after scoring. He noticed.
"Yeah, of course, it’s loud and you can definitely hear it," Etem said. "It’s all fun. It’s a hockey town, so it’s expected, but I had a blast out there.
"It didn’t affect my play, it didn’t affect the team’s play. That’s most important. The guys just came together, and it was a hard-fought win."
Etem figures there's one way to turn the fans in his favor.
"Just keep on playing how I was playing, along with the rest of the guys," he said. "I think if we keep rolling like this, we should be good."
U.S. coach Keith Allain was impressed by Etem's ability to play through the boos.
"I thought he played all right," Allain said. "He scored a goal. He dealt with it. As athletes you deal with things if you want to be successful."
Allain was "extemely" disturbed by Martin Marincin's third-period head shot on Jason Zucker, who was assisted off the ice looking dazed by the elbow.
"It was a vicious, dirty hit," Allain said.