Slovakia to face Finland, Sweden to meet Russians in men's hockey semis

Slovakia's Marek Hrivikl, right, is hugged by Peter Cehlarik (34) after Hrivikl scored a goal against the United States during a men's quarterfinal hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Beijing. (Matt Slocum/AP Photo)

The top-seeded team in the men's hockey tournament will not get a chance to play for a medal.

The United States -- which finished with the best record in round-robin play -- was eliminated with a thrilling 3-2 shootout loss to Slovakia in Wednesday's first quarterfinal game at the Beijing Olympics.

Slovakia forced overtime with a goal from captain Marek Hrivík in the final minute of regulation. Both teams had plenty of chances in the 10-minute overtime but a shootout goal from Peter Cehlárik was the difference, giving Slovakia the win.

Canadian Craig Ramsay is Slovakia's coach.

Slovakia took the early lead with a goal from Juraj Slafkovský -- a top prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft -- midway through the first. It was Slafkovský's fifth of the tournament.

Nick Abruzzese -- a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect currently playing for Harvard -- tied the game at 1-1 in the final minute of the frame. Minnesota Wild prospect Sam Hentges then gave the U.S. the lead with a goal midway through the second that nearly proved to be the winner.

The loss marks the third consecutive Olympics the United States will not earn a medal since claiming silver in a thrilling final vs. Canada at the 2010 Games.

The Americans also were eliminated in a quarterfinal shootout in 2018 against the Czech Republic.

Slovakia returns to the medal round for the first time since 2010 in Vancouver when the late Pavol Demitra helped them upset Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Eighth-seeded Slovakia will face Finland in the semis.

Russians 3, Denmark 1

The reigning Olympic champion Russians are two wins away from repeating their feat.

Slava Voynov's late power-play goal gave the Russians some much-needed breathing room against a Danish team that exceeded all expectations by making the quarterfinals in its Olympic men's hockey debut.

The third-seeded Russians outshot No. 6 Denmark 40-18 as Danish goalie Sebastian Dahm, a former OHLer, delivered an excellent effort to give his team a chance.

Just before Voynov's goal, Russian goalie Ivan Fedotov made a big save on Danish star Frans Nielsen while the underdogs were short-handed to keep the reigning champs in front.

Nielsen, who has 925 NHL games on his resume, scored Denmark's only goal.

Nikita Nesterov and Vadim Shipachyov also scored for the Russians, who will face Sweden in the semis.

Finland 5, Switzerland 1

The second-seeded Finns are the only unbeaten team left after knocking off seventh-seeded Switzerland to earn a semifinal date with Slovakia.

Finland goalie Harri Sateri, who played nine games for the Florida Panthers in 2017-18, made 33 saves as the Swiss outshot the Finns 34-23.

Finland led 3-1 before adding two empty-net goals.

The Finns made the podium in three consecutive Olympics (silver in 2006, bronze in 2010 and '14) before losing to Canada in the quarterfinals in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Sweden 2, Canada 0

Lucas Wallmark broke a scoreless tie midway through the third period and Anton Lander added an empty-netter.

Sweden goalie Lars Johansson stopped 22 shots for the shutout.

Medal round

Semifinals No. 1, Thursday, 11:10 p.m. ET
Semifinal No. 2, Friday, 8:10 a.m. ET
Bronze-medal game, Saturday, 8:10 a.m.
Gold-medal game, Saturday, 11:10 p.m.

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