February 15 (UPI) – The US national team dropped out of men’s Olympic hockey, losing to Slovakia 3-2 in the shootout.
The Americans reached the quarterfinals at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Wednesday as favorites as they not only finished first in their Group A after the previous round, but were also the only team in the tournament to win all three games in the process.
Although the Slovaks were the first to score, the Americans quickly equalized and then scored in the second frame. In the third, as time went on, the US team was put on victory over the Europeans, who had other plans, and forced overtime with a goal scored in the last minute of the main match.
The goalkeepers were sharp during overtime 3 on 3, which led to a shot, but Slovakia was able to get one pass from Strauss Mann to complete the stalemate and play.
Wednesday’s game started quickly, and the teams looked even when Slovakia were able to reach the first board just over half of the first period.
After a long shift, when they were trapped due to a strong check by Slovakia, the Americans were able to momentarily bring the puck into the neutral zone before it was sent back behind the US net.
Pavel Regenda was able to come to the corner with a puck, which he gave to Peter Tseresnak. With the Americans after the game, Tseresnak made a quick pass to Yuri Slafkovsky, who was completely alone in the high throw, and the 17-year-old made it bypassing Mana in the fifth half of the tournament.
The U.S. team, however, would respond before the break with the beauty of the gate at the crossing.
With less than 45 seconds in the frame, Kenny Agostino moved the puck from his net into the Slovak area, where he turned and gave it to Stephen Kampfer, who fell behind, and he slapped Mattie Benners at the top of the scores. Beñes then shoveled him to Nick Abruzze, who was making his way into the net, and led him through five holes of goalkeeper Patrick Fisher.
In the second the Americans took the lead nine minutes into the frame, again because of the peak.
Sam Hentges ran with the puck on his side through the neutral zone, where he gave it to Nathan Smith, and went to the front of the net.
Smith then switched to Nick Perbiks, who hit Hentges behind the Slovak defense and wrapped him in a cage around Fisher’s left platform.
As time in the game continued to shrink, it turned out that the Slovaks were destined to lose as they continued to take unnecessary penalties, including one to finish second and three in the third, one of which was four minutes before the end of the game. The inability of Americans to move to the power game will haunt them again.
The Americans with decent work were able to deny Slovakia the nomination of their goalkeeper for an extra person until there was only about 1 minute 30 seconds left in the main.
With an extra man and a push from the Slovaks, captain Marek Hryvik was able to equalize in the double in the 43 seconds remaining, scoring a ready puck in front of the net, which resulted in a shot from the point.
In overtime, 10 minutes of crazy hockey “three on three” lasted, and a series of bullets will be needed to solve the game.
The U.S. team won the coin toss and decided to shoot first, but no one was able to defeat either Fisherman or Mana until Peter Chekhlarik landed on Mana and crashed into a crevice where he shot on the goalkeeper’s right platform, completing the American Men’s Olympic Journey.
After losing, they were removed from the battle for medals, and the last time they climbed the podium was in 2010, when they won silver in a defeat by the Canadian team in overtime in the final.
The US team made 37 shots in defeat against 35 shots in Slovakia.
https://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2022/02/16/olympics-United-States-mens-hockey-team-eliminated/6371644985699/ US men’s hockey team drops out of Olympics, losing to Slovakia by bullets