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U.S. sent home by Czechs in shootout

No medal for Brian Gionta

PyeongChang, South Korea - The U.S. had plenty of chances. 

A 2 on 1 with two minutes to play. A power play at the end of regulation. Five shootout attempts. 

They couldn't score on any and, as a result, they're going home. Brian Gionta will never win an Olympic medal as a player. 

The Americans lost in a shootout to the Czech Republic in the Olympic Men's Hockey Quarterfinals Tuesday night (Eastern time). 

Petr Koukal scored the lone shootout goal on the 2nd Czech attempt. Pavel Francouz stopped all five U.S. shots with relative ease. 

Ryan Donato opened the scoring with his tournament leading fifth goal in the first period, but Jan Kolar equalized before the intermission. 

The Czechs seemed to be gaining control during the first half of the second period. Tomas Kundratek put the Czech Republic up 2-1 and a power play chance followed moments later. 

However, Jim Slater scored shorthanded for Team USA to tie the game at two. From there, the Americans, at worst, played on equal footing with the Czechs. 

Gionta had a tip-in try late in the 2nd period on a U.S. power play that was just too low. 

With just over two minutes to go in the third, Brian O'Neill ripped a 2-on-1 wrister off the crossbar. The U.S. played the final 79 seconds of regulation on a power play. It continued 41 seconds into overtime. 

They never got a shot off. 

Gionta finished this tournament with 16 shots, but no points. The late game opportunities will haunt this team. 

“We just couldn’t put it together and settle down in that key moment," Gionta said. "I thought we had a good bunch of guys. We just came up short."


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