Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Canada eliminates Americans from World Cup of Hockey

TORONTO — Team USA, supposedly built to beat Canada, didn't beat anyone in the World Cup of Hockey.

Facing elimination in what coach John Tortorella dubbed its "championship game," the Americans got thumped 4-2 by heavy favorite Canada Tuesday in front of a red-clad crowd at the Air Canada Centre.

"It's disappointing, frustrating, all different types of emotions," Tortorella said. "I think we let some people down."

The Americans hadn't scored in their past three best-on-best games dating to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but led 1-0 five minutes in on Ryan McDonagh's goal. The lead lasted 89 seconds and Canada scored the next four to cruise into the semifinals. Matt Duchene scored twice.

"We didn't panic," Canada forward Joe Thornton said. "So what if they got the first goal?"

Tortorella said the problem was offense, but didn't regret USA's roster makeup — which left off scorers like Lightning C Tyler Johnson and the Penguins' Phil Kessel, who sarcastically tweeted Tuesday: "Just sitting around the house tonight with my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it."

The U.S. team, including Lightning G Ben Bishop, will head home after Thursday's meaningless game against the Czech Republic. Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was minus-1 with three shots in 13:31 for Canada, which faces Europe today for first-place seeding.

Lightning strikes: Two days after D Victor Hedman scored a winner for Sweden, his partner, D Anton Stralman, did the same in a 2-0 victory over Finland. Stralman is the sixth Lightning player with a goal in this tournament. The Swedes (2-0) reached this weekend's semifinals.

Hedman okay: Hedman appeared to be okay after getting shaken up on a controversial hit by Finland's Leo Komarov with five minutes left. Komarov, who got low and took out Hedman's legs, was called for interference. Hedman remained in the game, logging 18:36. "That was just a stupid play by (Komarov) there," Sweden forward Loui Eriksson said. North America D Aaron Ekblad, shoved hard into the boards by Komarov in Sunday's game, missed Monday's game and returned to Florida Tuesday to get his upper body injury evaluated by Panthers' doctors.

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