Mark Arcobello

Blanked by the Czechs in a shootout, U.S. men's hockey team is out of the Olympics

Blanked by the Czechs in a shootout, U.S. men's hockey team is out of the Olympics

As the clock ticked toward the conclusion of overtime, coach Tony Granato thought, "I don't like the idea of this." His team was playing to delay the end. Most of the U.S. men's hockey players had come from European teams, minor leagues or semiretirement. A win meant another day here, another day of USA across the chest and global relevance and the potential for adulation. A loss would launch them back to hockey's hinterlands.

With those stakes, their sport would morph into a parlor game, and not a parlor game they were suited to win. The team produced by USA Hockey's odd experiment skated hard, scrapped in corners and cared like hell. What it lacked was even a modicum...

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