The U.S. will play for fifth-place on Friday (Aug. 5) at 1:30 p.m. MT against Slovakia, the third-place finisher in Group A.
"I don't think that the loss was for lack of effort or care from our guys," said Anthony Noreen (Chicago, Ill.), head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team. "I thought they put everything they possibly could into it. At the end of the day, I thought we just needed to execute a little bit better. We just weren't able to convert in and around the net nearly as well as we needed to do to beat a team that good."
While the opening 20 minutes was scoreless, the U.S. had a 10-5 shots-on-goal advantage. The line of Quentin Musty (Hamburg, N.Y.), Carey Terrance (Akwesasne, N.Y.) and Tanner Adams (Northport, N.Y.) generated several quality scoring chances in the period, but Czech goaltender Michael Hrabal kept the U.S. off the board.
Czechia got the only goal of the middle period at 1:57 when Jan Kucera fired a shot from the right circle past U.S. netminder Hampton Slukynsky (Warroad, Minn.). Terrance had a chance to even the score less than two minutes later with a backhand shot, but the puck bounced off the post. Both teams had two power play chances in the stanza, but neither was able to convert.
The Czechs increased their lead to 2-0 at 4:07 of the third off the stick of Jan Sprynar, but Adams got the U.S. back in the game just :58 later as he tucked one in at the side of the net. Musty and Terrance drew assists on the play. The U.S., which had to win in regulation to advance to the semifinals, was on a 4-on-3 power play with 5:32 left and pulled its netminder for an extra attacker, but Czechia scored shorthanded into an empty net at 5:20 to seal the victory.
Slukynsky, who made his tournament debut, recorded 17 saves.
NOTES: Carey Terrance was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Both teams were 0-4 on the power play.