Winter Olympics: 'That's what happens when you don't play well' – USA stunned by Slovakia in men's ice hockey

By Sports Desk February 16, 2022 1266

United States forward Sam Hentges accepted his side could have no complaints after suffering a shock elimination from the men's Winter Olympics ice hockey competition at the hands of Slovakia.

The two-time champions were knocked out at the quarter-final stage for the second Games running with a penalty shoot-out loss in Wednesday's contest at the National Indoor Stadium in Beijing.

USA fielded a young side and recovered to lead 2-1 in the closing stages of regulation time, but Marek Hrivik struck with 43 seconds left to force 10 minutes of overtime and it was Slovakia who held their nerve as the contest went the distance.

Peter Cehlarik was the only player to convert his penalty in the shoot-out, with Andy Miele's saved attempt ensuring Slovakia advanced to the final four with a 3-2 victory.

"That's what happens when you don't play well," said Hentges, who gave USA the lead after Nick Abruzzese had cancelled out Juraj Slafkovsky's opener.

"We didn't play well in the second and third period and when you get to this level that's what happens.

"We didn't play how we played the last three games. It's as simple as that, that's why we lost."

USA, who were outshot 36-35 by Slovakia and went 0-for-4 on the power play, end their Beijing 2022 campaign with three wins and a defeat.

Ben Meyers agreed with Hentges that there can be no excuses.

"We played really well in our first three games and this is our first bad game," he said. "Now we are done. 

"I have no complaints at all about anything. I'm just disappointed that we lost this time."

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Last modified on Wednesday, 16 February 2022 05:44
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