Czechia defeated the U.S. Men’s Hockey team 1-0 in Prague during their quarterfinal matchup of the hockey world championships on Thursday. For the U.S., this was the earliest exit from the tournament in five years—the U.S. has lost in the semifinals in the past three tournaments.

Czechia has to thank Pavel Zacha and Lukas Dostal for their victory, as Zacha scored the lone goal for the Czechs on a power play in the second period, while Dostal recorded 36 saves to preserve the shutout.

Dostal commented when asked about his team’s performance. “It was an important game,” he said. “Our plan was to control the match when it was 1-0. There was lots of emphasis on defense, and I’m glad it turned out the way it did.”

Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak praised Dostal for his performance. “He was incredible,” he said. “They were swarming him from all directions, but luckily, Lukas was alert and produced.”

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Czechia’s victory sets up a semifinal meeting against Sweden on Saturday.

There were highlights for the Americans as they entered the tournament with a polished roster. Their lineup consisted of all-stars such as Johnny Gaudreau, Seth Jones, Brady Tkachuk and Zach Werenski. Gaudreau broke a team record for points and assists, breaking the previous record held by Patrick KaneBrock Nelson tied the record for goals  Bruce Mather and Rusell Johnson held with 19.

The U.S. went into Thursday’s matchup without Alex Lyon, who was starting in net before the meeting with Czechia. Washington Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren replaced Lyon since he got injured during a matchup against Germany last week.

The Americans killed 13 powerplays while Lindgren saved 27 shots on goal. “It was a great game and atmosphere,” coach John Hynes said. “Unfortunately, we came up short, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort.”

The Americans fought hard, but the Czechs utilized a full-out team performance to deny the U.S. chances to change the game. 

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