Is Usa Hockey Out Of Olympics? [Expert Guide!]

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The Olympic Games are now over, and fans around the world are wondering if the US Army Hockey team will be back for another go at winning gold. The short answer is no—at least not in the near future. Why did Team USA fail to capture the gold medal they were coveting? And what’s next for the Army hockey team?

Why Did Team USA Fail To Capture The Gold Medal?

It’s hard to put into words what happened during the last two weeks of the 2018 Winter Olympics, especially considering how quickly it all went down. As the clock struck midnight on February 28, the US Army hockey team would have had nine glorious days to savor their moment of victory before being eclipsed by one of the greatest moments in Olympic hockey history. The puck dropped, and the lights went out, as the Olympic gold medal was presented to Canada’s Jonathan Cheechoo.

The entire ice arena at the Shayba Arena in Doha, Qatar erupted in thunderous applause as the home team embraced and cried with their gold medal‐winner. Canada’s national anthems played as the hometown heroes paraded around the ice, hoisting their silver and bronze medals. The United States of America had finally won the gold medal—this time, as defending champions.

It was a beautiful moment, made more memorable by the fact that these were some of the most skilled and dedicated athletes in the world. Canada’s Jonathan Cheechoo credits much of his success to his upbringing in the US army town of Barrow, Alaska. He learned to be humble, work hard, and play fair, and he used that knowledge to dominate the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The Road To Redemption

Now that the dust has settled and the euphoria has worn off, it’s time to look back at the year that was, the highs and the lows. The US Army team won all of their remaining games and posted the best record in the entire tournament. They beat Sweden, Canada, and Finland to capture the gold medal in the final game.

This was a historic moment for the United States and for the entire NHL, which was also marking a shift in its demographic. The previous year, more men than women watched the sport, and the audience share was at its lowest in years. The 2018 Winter Olympics helped reignite the popularity of hockey in America, and it showed in the number of fans that attended the games and the passion they showed for their national heroes.

But the road to redemption for Team USA isn’t exactly smooth sailing. As the defending champions, they knew that they would have to work hard to keep their title and keep the momentum going. They started by winning the bronze medal in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship, hosted this year in Bratislava, Slovakia. They rallied from an early 4–1 deficit to defeat Canada and Sweden and advance to the semi‐finals.

After sweeping Puerto Rico in the semi‐finals, the Americans were finally granted a gold medal opportunity. They jumped at the chance and advanced to the final, where they would face archrival Canada in another showdown for gold. The game was one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, and the Olympic audience couldn’t miss it.

Canada Vs. USA: It Was Everything You’d Expect

The buildup to the game was tremendous, and the atmosphere inside the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary was electric. The two teams had already met at the IIHF World Championship in February, and it would be their third and final showdown in the gold medal round. It was Canada’s turn to hoist the Stanley Cup, as they had won all of their previous matchups against the United States.

The USA was determined to bring home the gold, and they came out firing on all cylinders. They jumped out to an early 1–0 lead, but Canada answered with four unanswered goals. The game was tied at one early in the second period when rookie goaltender John Gibson, the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, made an incredible save to keep the score tied.

After two periods, Canada took a 4–2 lead into the third. The young Gibson had another outstanding performance, robbing Pierre‐Étienne Leblanc with a diving save and then denying Kevin Bieser and Tim Peel with some incredible pad work. At this point, Canada clearly had the upper hand in the matchup.

Then, in a moment that will live on in infamy, Jonathan Cheechoo beat Gibson with a wrist shot at the 11:11 mark of the third period to tie the game at four. The arena went silent as the players and officials of both teams retreated to the bench to discuss the dramatic turn of events. Cheechoo would later admit that he knew Gibson was going to be asleep at the wheel on that particular shift, and that was exactly what he needed to beat the goaltender.

Gold, Silver, And Bronze

The game might have ended differently if not for Gibson’s heroics. After the initial whistle, the hockey players came back on the ice to perform a ceremonial skate in honor of the medal winners. It was a beautiful moment, and the home team was thrilled to celebrate their hard work with a little ice skating. Canada was first to acknowledge the US team’s feat with a tweet, and the home crowd went wild as players and fans waved flags and held up signs with USA and hockey on them. The US Army team left the field of play proud and excited about their accomplishments, knowing that they had given their country and themselves something to be proud of—and that is never easy to do.

It was a great day for hockey, and it was also a day for the United States, which had worked hard to emerge from the shadows of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

While the US Army hockey team brought the Stanley Cup to Doha, Qatar for the first time ever, it was actually the third time it had been in the country. The first two visits were in 1964 and 1968, with both teams winning back‐to‐back titles. The last tournament was held in 2016 and saw the Canadians take home the gold as usual.

If you’re a hockey fan, it was definitely a memorable year. To be able to witness such a historic event live was incredible. It was also the perfect way to end the year and jumpstart the next one. Hopefully, the US Army team will return to defend its title in Tokyo in the next couple of years and continue the trend of Olympic hockey gold for the United States of America.

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