U.S. Men’s Hockey Team Eliminated by Slovakia in Quarterfinal of Beijing Olympics

(BEIJING) — The United States is out of the men’s hockey tournament at the Olympics in stunning fashion after blowing a late lead.

Marek Hirik scored in 43.7 seconds of regulation. Peter Cehlarik made the winning goal and Slovakia beat America 3-2 in shootout Wednesday. The result knocked the Americans out of the quarterfinals. After leading for nearly half of the match, the U.S. scored the tie-breaking goal. Slovakia then pulled its goaltender to make room for an additional attacker for 6-on-5.

They had grown accustomed playing close games during the tournament and beat Canada by two goals, while Germany won by one goal. Hrivik’s goalie Strauss Mann was impressed until this point, but he lost coverage and Hrivik managed to get a puck through.

Four power plays and three more in the third period proved to be a drain on the Americans. Matty Beniers made a great scoring opportunity for the U.S. in the third. However, the Americans couldn’t get past Patrik Rybar of Slovakia, who was playing a second straight day in net.


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