It was just one goal and both Team USA and Russia were advancing to the medal round in men’s hockey anyway. But the potential game-winning goal that was disallowed when the two met in the group stage had a huge impact on the seedings for the medal round.
The Russian team was very critical of the officials for waving off a goal that would have given Russia the lead when replays showed the net had come loose prior to the puck crossing the line.
By beating Russia in a shootout, Team USA was able to grab the 2-seed, a first-round bye, and an extra day off. Russia fell to the 5-seed and will have to play two games in two days (see bracket below).
If the disallowed goal at the end of regulation against Team USA would have been allowed, Russia would have been the 3-seed with a first-round bye and Team USA would have fallen to the fifth seed.
By virtue of the fortuitous call, Team USA will have a relatively easy quarterfinal matchup against either the Czech Republic or Slovakia (a team the U.S. beat 7-1) and will need to just beat Canada to reach the gold medal game.
Meanwhile, Russia is now forced to play in the first round against Norway. While that should be an easy win, they’ll have to play another game the next day.
If Russia wins those two games on back-to-back days they will then have to beat top-seeded Sweden to advance to the gold medal game.
Here is the medal round bracket via Wikipedia.
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