The U.S. leaves the World Hockey Championships without a medal, just as it did the Sochi Olympics.
A Czech Republic team led by NHL legend Jaromir Jagr beat the U.S. 4-3 in the quarterfinals in Minsk, Belarus, on Thursday. The U.S. scored twice in the final 1 minute, 10 seconds, but couldn’t get the equalizer after the Czechs had a three-goal second period.
The U.S. got a first-period goal from Brock Nelson, and Tyler Johnson scored both late tallies. Tomas Hertl, Roman Cervenka, Ondrej Nemec and Tomas Rolinek scored for the Czechs on U.S. goalie Tim Thomas, who made 29 saves.
The U.S. roster was completely different from the team that finished fourth at the Sochi Olympics, where it memorably beat Russia in group play thanks to T.J. Oshie‘s shootout heroics. The U.S. fell to Finland in the bronze-medal game in Sochi after beating the Finns for bronze at the 2013 World Championships.
The U.S. roster in Minsk was not nearly as star-studded as it was in Sochi with the NHL playoffs still going on. Its top skaters included Predators defenseman Seth Jones and Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader. Its only player with Olympic experience was Thomas from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Team that won silver.
Abdelkader received a game misconduct for a hit to the head Thursday (video here). The U.S. racked up 41 penalty minutes against the Czechs. The Czech Republic advanced to the semifinals, where it could be joined by Russia, Canada and Sweden.