The U.S. men’s hockey team narrowly lost to the Czech Republic in a tight quarterfinal game that ended in a penalty shootout at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics tournament on Wednesday.
The final score was 3-2, after the Americans were unable to get the puck past Czech goalie Pavel Francouz. In the five-round shootout, only one player managed to score: Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic.
With the win, the undefeated Czech Republic team advances to the semifinals in the Olympics tournament. The Czechs outshot the Americans 29-20 in their game at the Gangneung Hockey Center.
The shootout was declared after a 10-minute sudden-death overtime failed to produce a winner.
The men’s gold medal match is slated for Sunday. The U.S. women’s team has reached the gold medal game in their tournament, set to face Canada on Thursday in South Korea (11:10 p.m. ET Wednesday in the U.S.).
There are no NHL players at this year’s Winter Games, after the league and Olympics officials could not agree on terms. As a result, the U.S. team is composed of a mix of minor-league and college players, along with pros from overseas leagues.
The American men’s team started this game less than 24 hours after the end of their last match — a 5-1 win over Slovakia. Based on their strong finish in group play, the Czech team hadn’t played since Sunday.
Each team had scored two goals in the first two periods; the third period was scoreless, despite two penalties on the Czechs that gave the Americans power-play opportunities to score.
The U.S.’s Ryan Donato (Harvard University) scored the first goal of the match early in the first period, on a feed from Troy Terry (University of Denver) – but the Czech Republic answered with its own goal, and then another, to go up 2-1.
Jim Slater (HC Fribourg-Gottéron, Swiss League) scored an equalizing shorthanded goal midway through the match, on an assist from Brian O’Neill. The Czech team had a one-player advantage at the time due to a tripping foul that was called on Mark Arcobello (SC Bern).
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