The U.S. men’s hockey team will have to settle for playing for the bronze medal after being beaten soundly by Sweden, 6-0, in the semifinals of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Saturday in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Team USA blazed through the preliminary round undefeated until the final game before the playoffs, when it lost to Finland 6-2.
With a 6-1 record, the Americans rebounded with a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, lifted by a tiebreaking goal by two-time Olympian and team captain Patrick Kane. Kane led the tournament in scoring coming into Saturday with eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points – a U.S. record at a single world championship.
The win set up a difficult matchup against Sweden, the top team in Pool A and the only team still undefeated in the tournament.
The two teams met in the preliminary round in last year’s tournament, with the U.S. getting the win for the first time since 2005.
Sweden scored first in Saturday’s game, then racked up three goals in the second period to take a commanding 4-0 lead into the third. With goaltender Keith Kinkaid pulled for an extra attacker with almost half the final period left to play, Sweden tacked on another goal.
Team USA outshot Sweden 41-20, but couldn’t manage to get anything past goaltender Anders Nilsson.
The U.S. is now 2-9 in semifinal games at world championships.
The Americans will now face Canada, which lost to Switzerland, 3-2, in the other semifinal. The bronze-medal game will be 9:45 a.m. ET on Sunday, televised live on NHL Network. The U.S. is seeking its first medal since winning bronze in 2015.