The U.S. men’s hockey team fell to host Finland 4-1 at the world championship in group play on Monday, extending a streak of losses to reigning Olympic champion teams at major tournaments.
Mikael Granlund, Valtteri Filppula, Sakari Manninen and Mikko Lehtonen scored for Finland, which is looking to become the first nation to win Olympic and world titles in the same year since Sweden in 2006. Women’s world championships were not held in Olympic years before this year.
The U.S. men, whose goal came from Alex Galchenyuk, are on a five-game skid versus reigning Olympic champions. They lost to Russia at the 2019 Worlds and to Canada at the 2016 Worlds (twice) and the 2014 Olympics. (Plus a loss to Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.)
Their last major tournament win over the reigning Olympic champion was an overtime victory over Canada at 2012 Worlds.
Before that, the U.S. men lost nine consecutive major games to the reigning gold medalists dating to its last regulation victory (10 if you include to Canada at the 2004 World Cup), over Sweden at the 1996 Worlds.
At these worlds, the U.S. has one regulation win, one overtime win and one loss in its first three of seven group games. The top four teams from each eight-team group advance to next week’s quarterfinals.
The U.S. roster, which has nobody over the age of 30, includes three Beijing Olympians: Strauss Mann, Monday’s goalie, and forwards Sean Farrell and Ben Meyers.
The most notable NHL veterans are four-time All-Star defenseman Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes forward Galchenyuk.
The head coach is David Quinn, who was also head coach of the Olympic team.
Last year, the U.S. earned bronze for the fourth time in the last eight world championships dating to 2013.
The Americans’ last silver at a standalone worlds was in 1950. Their last gold at a standalone worlds was in 1933.
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