Olympics men's hockey: Czech Republic sends United States of America home with shootout victory


Little-known Czech Republic goaltender Pavel Francouz was able to stop all five Americans in the shootout and Petr Koukal scored as the United States was eliminated with a 3-2 loss Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

"Our dream is still on", Russian Federation captain Pavel Datsyuk said.

He is the first Team USA player to have two two-goal games in the same Olympic tournament since Brian Rafalski in 2010. Based on their strong finish in group play, the Czech team hadn't played since Sunday.

Four years after his shootout heroics in Sochi, Oshie could only watch helplessly halfway around the world as Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Troy Terry and Bobby Butler got their chances against the Czech Republic with a berth in the semifinals on the line.

In search for their first gold medal in 20 years, the Czechs advanced into a Friday matchup against the victor of a later quarterfinals between the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation and Norway. As a Czech reporter said, Francouz hasn't earned "Dominator" status - yet.

Terry had a chance to break the tie with just over five minutes to play in regulation when he drove down the slot through a pair of Czech defenders, but Francouz denied his shot. It was not the ending we wanted, but when I look back, I see a whole locker room full of brothers I didn't have two weeks ago.

American dreams of a first gold medal since 1980 were shattered as Petr Koukal scored the only goal in a penalty shootout while Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz blanked five USA sharpshooters. "To lose at the Olympics that way is pretty tough".

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The Czechs, chasing their first medal since winning bronze at the 2006 Turin Games, await the victor of Norway and Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation who play later on Wednesday.

Each team had scored two goals in the first two periods; the third period was scoreless, despite two penalties on the Czechs that gave the Americans power-play opportunities to score.

The Czechs tied it at 1 at 15:12 after 39-year-old USA captain - and natural winger - Brian Gionta lost the faceoff clean.

Germany might be watching now, too, after Patrick Reimer scored the victor to beat Sweden for the first time at the Olympics and improve to 2-14 against the more traditional hockey powerhouse in this tournament and the world championships.

The Czechs answered late in the period when Jan Kolar's rocket from the point sailed past Zapolski.

Brian O'Neill's long pass put Slater in alone against goalie Pavel Francouz. The short-handed tying goal 10:23 in was the Americans' first shot of the second period.

Czech Republic dominated the first half of the second period, outshooting United States of America 7-1 and getting a goal from Tomas Kundratek.