Their medal hopes long gone, the U.S. hockey team set one last goal Saturday: to win the last period of its last game as a tribute to coach Tim Taylor.
Even that was beyond the Americans. Their 4-3 loss to Germany left them with a 1-4-3 record and eighth place, the worst finish by an American team. It was the first time a U.S. had won fewer than two games.
"The coaches put in so much effort, and we let them down," goalie Garth Snow said. "It's a shame. It's definitely not Xs and Os. We're probably the most well-prepared team here. It comes down to us playing and we didn't play. It's embarrassing."
The score was tied at 2 after two periods, but mistakes led to two German goals in a 2:23 span and the Americans couldn't recover.
Finland won the bronze medal with its second shutout of Russia, 4-0. For the first time in 11 Olympics, Russia and its predecessors, the Soviet Union and Unified Team, did not win a medal.
At Gjovik, the Czech Republic capitalized on defensive lapses to rout Slovakia 7-1 in the fifth-place game.
Swiss goes out a champ
In the final Olympic race of a brilliant career, Vreni Schneider of Switzerland went out like a champion, winning a gold medal in slalom.
She made up .68 of a second on leader Katja Koren after the morning run to win by 1.79 seconds over runner-up Elfriede Eder of Austria.
"I was so nervous after the first run," Schneider said. "I was afraid I couldn't win a medal."
Schneider, 29, finished in 1:56.01 (59.68, 56.33) for her third medal of these Games, making her the first woman to win five Alpine medals. She medaled twice at the 1988 Calgary Games.
Eder finished in 1:56.35 (59.54, 56.81). Koren, 18, took the bronze in 1:56.61 (59.00, 57.61).
Germany wins 30K relay
Germany won a battle in its perennial biathlon war with Russia, taking the men's relay gold with perfect shooting and strong skiing.
Russians won both individual men's titles and third-man Sergei Tarasov, winner of the 20-kilometer event, had the fastest split, but Germany took the 30K relay.
Ricco Gross led off, grabbing a 1 minute, 2 second lead on the first 7.5K leg for fellow soldiers Frank Luck, Mark Kirchner and Sven Fischer.
The German team covered the distance in 1:30.22.1. The Russians were second, 1:01.5 behind.
France took the bronze.
1-2-3 close together
Gustav Weder in Switzerland I, known for his second-day surges, was only .12 of a second behind Harald Czudaj in Germany II (1 minute, 43.55 seconds) halfway through the four-man race. Veteran Wolfgang Hoppe in Germany I was third, at 1:43.73.
_ TIMES WIRES