US men's hockey team loses to Czech Republic in heartbreaking shootout, is eliminated from Olympic play

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
  • The United States’ men’s hockey team lost to the Czech Republic in a shootout late Tuesday night.
  • American goalie Ryan Zapolski did his best to play hero at the end, stopping all but one attempt, but the United States couldn’t find a matching goal in the shootout.
  • The loss eliminates the Americans from Olympic play and medal contention.

The United States’ men’s hockey team lost to the Czech Republic in a shootout late Tuesday night, eliminating the American team from Olympic play.

The American side put up a fine fight, facing a Czech Republic team that had earned a bye into the quarterfinals and thus was working off a bit more rest. Breakout star Ryan Donato would score the first goal of the game in the opening period, and after dropping down 2-1, Jim Slater would net a crucial shorthanded goal in the second period to tie the game back up. Neither team was able to find the net in the third, leading the game into overtime knotted 2-2.

In the extra period, both teams would have their chances, but neither would capitalise, setting up a do-or-die shootout. U.S. goalie Ryan Zapolski did his best to keep his team in it, stopping all but one shot sent his way, but none of the American shooters could match, leaving the team to fall 1-0 in the shootout and be eliminated from Olympic play.

With the win, the Czech Republic are set to face either Norway or the Olympic Athletes from Russia in the semifinal, with a spot in the gold medal game on the line.

The loss is just the latest it what has been a disappointing Winter Olympics for the American delegation.

That said, the United States’ hockey hopes aren’t entirely over – the women’s team will take on Canada in the gold medal game on Thursday.

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