United States men’s hockey’s dreams of medaling at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang came to an untimely end with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Czech Republic on Wednesday. But not everyone dressed in Red, White and Blue left the Gangneung Hockey Centre empty-handed.
One lucky fan — adorned all too appropriately in a No. 21 Michael Eruzione jersey from Team USA’s gold-medal run at the 1980 Lake Placid Games — used his cat-like reflexes to catch a loose puck with his left hand in the third period.
The American men could’ve used a miracle like that while they were on the ice. They failed to knock a single puck into the net after the second period, including a shootout shutout against Czech goalie Pavel Francouz.
As a result, Tony Donato’s team will leave South Korea without keeping up the country’s pattern of nabbing a medal every other cycle. The U.S. took home silver medals from Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010, losing to Canada both times.
While the Americans head home, the Czech Republic will likely await the Olympic Athletes from Russia in the semifinals on Friday.
When it comes to Olympic glory on the rink, though, not all hope is lost for the United States. The women’s team will go for gold against Canada on Thursday.
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