Team USA bids farewell to World Cup of Hockey dream

| September 21, 2016 | 0 Comments
Team Canada celebrates after scoring against Team USA last Tuesday. Team Canada won, 4-2.

Score! Photo courtesy of http://l2.yimg.com/

While Team North America ousted Finland, 4-1 in their prelim match Sunday night, Team USA’s hopes of winning a championship came to a disappointing halt when they bowed to Team Canada, 4-2 last Tuesday.

The win secured Canada a seat in the semifinals alongside Team Europe who also boasts an identical record of 2-0-0 (4 points). On Saturday, the United States also fell to Team Europe, 0-3.

With two straight disappointing losses, Team USA is now under the microscope, with critics scrutinizing the team’s roster. Defenseman and Minnesota Wild mainstay Ryan Suter said although his team wasn’t necessarily a favorite coming in to Toronto, the defeat took a toll on them, up to the point that he felt like they “let their country down” as well as themselves.

“I think we’re all disappointed… to be out after two games is extremely disappointing,” he added.

The question on every fans mind now is where did Team USA go wrong? Was it the decision of General Manager Dean Lombardi to go for fresh names rather than selecting high-profile players? Or was it because head coach John Tortorella failed to get the team in sync?

In two games, Team USA scored only two goals and led only for a minute and 29 seconds. Facing a powerhouse team like Canada was never a light task to begin with, but their stats prove that something is really off. Save for Ryan McDonagh’s lone goal in the first period, Team USA slopped, giving Team Canada two goals in a span of 14 seconds. Even scoring machine Patrick Kane struggled to the point of not having a goal in two games.

“I obviously didn’t do my job this tournament,” Kane said.

As for coach Tortorella, he obviously wasn’t able to mix Kane’s abilities with that of other players – a significant downfall that he admitted.

“I think we let some people down. It’s on my watch. I certainly feel responsible for that,” explained Tortorella.

Team USA is set to face Czech Republic on Thursday. As for Team North America, the fast, young and furious team will pit against Sweden on Wednesday.

Ask any team, any player, any coach, and they’ll say that defeat is inevitable in the world of sport. Whether they are made up with the best athletes, young bloods or seasoned veterans, everyone has a breaking point sooner or later. What happened with Team USA was a stroke of bad luck. They had the right ingredients but the coaching staff failed to address that fact. They have four years to go back to the drawing board, assess what went wrong, set aside petty issues and start working on a better strategy.

Category: Sports

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