Troy Terry and Ryan Donato had a chance to deliver yet again for the United States, but both came up empty in a shootout loss to the Czech Republic.
Terry, a shootout hero for the U.S. in the World Junior Championships, was denied in the Olympic quarterfinal. Donato, who was virtually unstoppable during the Olympic tournament, joined Terry as one of five U.S. shooters who did not score in the shootout.
It’s a pity Terry and Donato don’t both play for the University of Denver, though. Together, they might ensure the Pioneers deliver a second consecutive national championship.
Donato and Terry combined on three goals during the 2018 Winter Olympics, including one in the quarterfinal loss that ends Team USA’s run in the tournament. The goal, which gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead 6:20 into the first period, was Donato’s fifth of the tournament and third in two games. The assist from Terry was his fourth over that same span. The two connected one night prior in a dominant 5-1 victory that advanced the Americans on to face the second-seeded Czechs.
Jan Kolar took a tripping penalty later in the first period on Wednesday (Tuesday night in the U.S.) to give Terry and Donato a chance on the power play, but the U.S. could not take advantage. Kolar soon redeemed himself with the equalizing goal.
Terry took a high-sticking penalty at the 3:28 mark of the second period, setting up the third penalty kill for his team in the game. The U.S. killed the penalty, but Tomas Kundratek struck for the Czechs a few minutes later to take the lead.
Penalties continued to weaken the Americans’ struggling offensive attack when Mark Arcobello, whom Terry also assisted on Tuesday, took a tripping penalty. Head coach Tony Granato got a break, though, when Brian O’Neill hit a streaking Jim Slater at the blue line and Slater fired a beautiful wrister past Pavel Francouz, tying the game with a shorthanded goal.
The second period ended tied 2-2 and stayed tied through regulation and overtime. The U.S. looked like a team playing the second night of a back-to-back, and the Czech’s played like a team afraid to lose a game they by all rights should have won.
Terry had a chance to break the tie with just over five minutes to play in regulation when he drove down the slot through a pair of Czech defenders, but Francouz denied his shot. O’Neill had a shot on a two-on-one about 2:30 later, but it deflected off the near post. The Czechs nearly beat Ryan Zapolski moments later on a breakaway. The U.S. goaltender made two huge saves — first on the breakaway shot and then on the rebound — to keep things knotted.
A Vojtech Mozik slashing penalty gave the U.S. a power play as regulation came to an end, which turned into a 4-3 in the sudden-death overtime period. Terry and Donato were on the ice as part of the power play to open overtime, but were unable to put any meaningful shots on net before Mozik’s penalty expired. The two sides skated evenly through the remainder of the overtime period, sending things to a shootout.
Donato was the second shooter for the U.S. and was trying to respond to a score by Petr Koukal. His attempt was stopped.
Terry, who was a hero for the U.S. in the World Junior Championships with multiple clutch shootout goals to help deliver the gold, could not deliver in try No. 4 for the U.S., failing to elevate a backhand after several dekes.
Bobby Butler was the last chance for Team USA, but his shot missed wide of the net, ending the tournament for the red, white and blue.
Terry and Donato will return to their college teams soon. Terry’s No. 4/3 Pioneers have a crucial showdown with No. 1 overall St. Cloud State Huskies and by all accounts will be headed to the NCAA Tournament. It would take a minor miracle for Harvard to make the tournament this year, but bigger miracles have happened around this time of year.