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Sun Sets On U.S. Hopes At World Cup

By Harry Thompson - Editor, USA Hockey Magazine, 09/21/16, 6:00AM EDT


Team focus shifts to ending on high note vs Czech Republic

TORONTO -- As the sun rose over the city on Wednesday morning, Team USA awoke to the realization that its tournament hopes were dashed only two games into the World Cup of Hockey.

After being defeated by Team Canada less than 12 hours earlier at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, everyone associated with the red, white and blue were left to sort through the remnants of a 4-2 loss.

"There's a lot of disappointment. You just want so much better for each other. You want to step up and play better and just add more to the game. We were never able to do that.," said captain Joe Pavelski.

"It's always tough because you know how much guys care and want it. These tournaments are way bigger than just the team. There's a lot of people who follow it and come together through the tournament so you'd like to be better for everyone."

With an offense that has not yet found its rhythm, and a relentless opponent backed by a vocal partisan crowd, the U.S. could not overcome the defending champs who punched their ticket to this weekend's semifinals.

Ryan McDonagh's goal at 4:22 of the first period gave the U.S an early lead.

It didn't take long for the Canadians to respond with two goals set 14 seconds apart. Matt Duchene scored the equalizer, sneaking behind U.S defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to tap in an easy goal off a shot-pass off the boards. And before the sellout crowd had returned to seat, Logan Couture's seemingly harmless backhander was blockered away by Quick but the rebound ricocheted in off of Corey Perry, who drove hard to the net.

"I'm still looking for us to generate offense," said head coach John Tortorella. "I think we have some good offensive players on that roster. I think we have some jam on that roster. We can play a lot of different ways. We have not played well offensively. We haven't made enough offensive plays as a group."

Heading into the game, Tortorella talked about the importance of going hard to the net and setting up shop once they got there.

"You get pucks to the net and good things happen," McDonagh said. "That's probably more of what we should've done the first couple of periods. We maybe tried to pass a little too much and in these types of games, it's not going to be pretty very often so we should have put a few more on net and drive the net like they did."

"We started out and we had good momentum and got a goal. Then they came back and took the game over," said defenseman Ryan Suter. "We just couldn't connect. We had a lot of one-and-done type of plays. We were in the offensive zone but we weren't really getting much. It just seemed like we just couldn't connect to make two plays."

With a day off before the Americans take on the Czech Republic.

"There's a lot of disappointment," McDonagh said. "You just want so much better for each other. You want to step up and play better and we were never able to do that.

"These tournaments are way bigger than just the team. There's a lot of people who follow it and come together through the tournament, so you'd like to be better for everyone. It's unfortunate because we let a lot of people down. That's what stings the most."

World Cup News

Team USA Schedule & Results

Date Opponent/Event Location Result
Fri, Sept. 9 Canada (Pre-Tourn.) Columbus, OH (Nationwide) W, 4-2
Sat., Sept. 10 Canada (Pre-Tourn.) Ottawa, Ont. L, 2-5
Tues., Sept. 13 Finland (Pre-Tourn.) Washington, D.C. (Verizon) W, 3-2
Sat., Sept. 17 Team Europe Toronto (ACC) L, 0-3
Tues., Sept. 20 Canada Toronto (ACC) L, 2-4
Thurs., Sept. 22 Czech Republic Toronto (ACC) L, 3-4

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