'What a joke': America rages over Winter Olympics 'embarrassment'

Team USA, pictured here after being dumped out of the Winter Olympics by Slovakia.
Team USA were dumped out of the Winter Olympics by Slovakia. Image: Getty

America was left in a state of disbelief on Wednesday when the US ice hockey team were dumped out of the Winter Olympics in shock scenes.

The United States crashed out of the men's ice hockey tournament in a stunning loss to Slovakia after blowing a late lead.

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Marek Hrivik scored with 43.7 seconds left in regulation time, Peter Cehlarik then produced the winner and Slovakia beat the US 3-2 in a shootout to knock the top-seeded Americans out in the quarter-finals.

The US led for almost half the game before the tying goal, when Slovakia pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker to play 6-on-5.

"I'm just sad it's over," US captain Andy Miele said.

"Our team battled hard. Sometimes those bounces happen in hockey. Unfortunate it was on our side."

Only Cehlarik scored in the shootout, while the US went 0-5 against Patrik Rybar.

"I believed in it," Cehlarik said. "I believe in this team."

Slovakia, coached by longtime NHL assistant coach Craig Ramsay, are into the semi-finals at the Games for the first time since 2010.

The US was eliminated in a quarter-final shootout for the second-consecutive Olympics lacking NHL players.

The 2018 team was knocked out by the Czech Republic.

"It's a tough pill to swallow, it really is, just losing in any fashion," Quinn said.

"No disrespect to Slovakia or anybody, we just felt so good about the direction of our team and the way we were playing."

Slovakia, pictured here celebrating victory over the United States at the Winter Olympics.
Slovakia celebrates victory over the United States at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images) (Jean Catuffe via Getty Images)

America in disbelief over Olympics 'embarrassment'

The anger and disbelief in America was clear to see on social media.

“Oh my god, the US really just lost to Slovakia in the shootout,” NBC ice hockey commentator Ryan Quigley wrote on Twitter.

“That just happened. The US men’s hockey team, after going undefeated in group play, lost to Slovakia in the quarterfinals. Their Olympic journey is over.”

TV sports director Jack Fitzsimmons described it as a “horrific embarrassment”.

“USA Hockey is completely lost as an organisation right now, at least on the senior men’s side,” he said.

Fans were also heavily critical of the performance.

Canada exited the tournament hours later with a 2-0 loss to Sweden.

It marks the first time since 2006 that neither the US or Canada made the final four at the Olympics.

Slovakia now faces Finland, who took care of business against Switzerland with a 5-1 victory, and Sweden plays the Russians - who beat Denmark 3-1.

Sweden, Finland and the Russians were also in the semi-finals in Turin 16 years ago.

with agencies

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