A shootout win by the Czech Republic broke a 2-2 tie in the men’s hockey quarterfinals and knocked Team USA out of the Olympics. Goaltender Pavel Francouz was the hero, stopping all five U.S. attempts, while Petr Koukal got the lone shootout goal against American goalie Ryan Zapolski.
It was a valiant effort for the U.S., who hung with a much fresher Czech team that had a bye into the quarters. The Americans continued their momentum from their 5-1 win last night against Slovakia and gave a much, much better performance than they did in their 4-0 loss against Russia to close out the group stage. Harvard kid Ryan Donato opened the scoring in the first period with his fifth goal of the tournament, and even though the USA surrendered the next two goals, 35-year-old NHL vet Jim Slater notched a breakaway shorthanded score to equalize in the second period. The teams stayed deadlocked for 40 minutes after that until the shootout.
The Czech Republic advances to the semifinals against the winner of Russia and Norway. Meanwhile, the U.S. women play in their gold medal game Wednesday night against Canada.