SOCHI, Russia - The U.S. Men's Olympic Team lead the tournament with 20 goals entering Friday's semifinal against Canada, but managed none against their rival to fall short of gold for the second consecutive Olympics.
Kept to the outside by a stingy Canadian defense, U.S. scorers like Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane, Dustin Brown and others couldn't best goaltender Carey Price despite launching 31 shots on goal.
"When we got the puck in their end it seemed like they were moving it out right away," said Kane. "We were trying to come up with speed but they did a good job of bottling it up."
The game's tempo was a high pace, which had led to U.S. goals earlier in the tournament, but the Candian defense closed the gap on the American attack and kept it away from prime scoring areas.
Still, head coach Dan Bylsma said he thought the chances were there.
"We had a couple chances there to draw even in this game," he said, pointing to chances by Jon Carlson, Max Pacioretty and T.J. Oshie. "On the power play we had some opportunities that we were unable to cash in on. They did a great job killing (penalties)."
The U.S. power play was particularly stymied despite three chances with the man-advantage. Canadian penalty killers clogged passing lanes that were previously open through the slot for Kane and company.
"They made a few clears and took a little time off the power play, and when we did have the chance we didn't have enough guys there," said Joe Pavelski. "We made a couple mistakes on the good looks we had. We just didn't sustain enough."
The U.S. roster features some of the elite scorers in the NHL and Pavelski said the feeling was that a goal would come.
"You always think you can score," he added. "We had a few chances and looks, it just didn't happen."
When the U.S. did break through, like James van Riemdsyk did in the second period, Price was there to make the save and, when there was a rebound, Canadian defenders cleared it away the danger.
The U.S. must go back to work to solve the power outage with less than 24 hours before facing a defensive-minded Finnish team in the bronze-medal game.