Brock Nelson scored his fifth goal of the tournament in the opening minutes of the game, as Team USA was eliminated from the IIHF World Championships after losing 4-3 to the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Nelson , who finished the tournament with seven points (5G, 2A) gave the Americans the early 1-0 lead off a redirection, but the Czechs roared back with four unanswered goals to take a commanding 4-1 lead. Team USA rallied for two goals in the final 1:10 of regulation, but could not complete the comeback.
The turning point came 6:41 into the second period, when Team USA captain Justin Abdelkader picked up a major charging penalty and was ejected from the contest. The Czechs scored twice in the first 1:25 of Abdelkader’s major, on goals by Tomas Hertl and Roman Cervenkar.
Team USA got into more penalty trouble at the end of the period, as Ondrej Nemec notched the Czech’s third power-play goal with 3:41 to play in the period.
The Americans rallied in the final 1:10, as Tyler Johnson scored his team-leading fifth and sixth goals of the tournament. Johnson’s goals came 13 seconds apart, but despite controlling the play in the final minute, Team USA could not convert.
After skating to a bronze medal last year, Team USA leaves Belarus empty-handed. Nelson led all Islanders in points with seven, while Matt Donovan scored twice and Colin McDonald tallied once.
Read USA Hockey recap.