Olympics men's hockey: Czech Republic sends U.S. home with shootout victory


Oh so close, but oh so far.

With 35 seconds left in overtime, USA defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti's shot hit Francouz and sat in the crease, but the goalie was able to cover up.

Team USA missed the semifinal round for the first time since 2006 in the first tournament without current National Hockey League players since 1998.

However, Jim Slater scored shorthanded for Team USA to tie the game at two.

Donato, a 21-year-old junior at Harvard, put the US on top with his tournament-leading fifth goal after almost being put into the U.S bench by Czech forward Jiri Sekac. The Americans-which had to beat Slovakia just to have the opportunity to face a fresh Czech Republic side-use "several speedy forwards in order to play an uptempo style, while the Czechs look to clog up the neutral zone and slow things down". Looking for breaking news, videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios all at your fingertips?

Donato is one of just four US players to score at least five goals in a single Olympic tournament, joining Brian Rolston (seven in 1994), John LeClair (six in 2002) and Phil Kessel (five in 2014). The short-handed tying goal 10:23 in was the Americans' first shot of the second period.

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It enjoyed a 29-20 advantage in shots on goal, per NBC Olympics, and Jan Kolar (first period) and Tomas Kundratek (second period) each capitalized on those shots with goals. Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout. A power play at the end of regulation.

Vojtech Mozik took a penalty with 1:20 remaining in the game, giving U.S. a prime chance to end things.

Then with 1:20 left in regulation the US were handed another opportunity when Vojtech Mozik was sent off for slashing but the Americans could not convert the man advantage sending the contest to overtime. Slater deposited the puck to the far side of Francouz, who had only seen just two shots in the previous 19 minutes. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.

Petr Koukal, the Czech Republic's second shooter during the resulting five-round shootout, got his shot past Team USA goalie Ryan Zapolski. Zapolski stopped Dominik Kubalik, but Terry couldn't put it past the right leg of Francouz.

O'Neill almost played hero when he drilled the post on a late counterattack, and his team will surely rue the failed power-play opportunity it had for the final 80 seconds of regulation and first 40 seconds of overtime.

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