The American side wrapped up preliminary play at the World Championships on Tuesday, but in losing fashion as it fell to Slovakia 4-1.
No matter, however, as the United States will still play in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, while Slovakia also clinched a quarterfinal berth.
Just like last year, Slovakia had been flying under the radar, and had to wait until their last preliminary round game to clinch their quarterfinal spot. Luckily for them, they rode that victory a year ago all the way to the final.
Danny Kristo scored the only goal for Team USA in Tuesday’s action, while Matt Carle earned the lone assist.
Kristo’s goal trimmed the American deficit to two goals, making the score 3-1 after Slovakia got out to a commanding three-goal lead halfway through the contest, at the 30-minute mark.
That would be all the Americans could muster however in spite of a 22-save effort from Ben Bishop, as Slovakia added a late goal in the final period to seal the victory.
Bolts forward Nate Thompson did not mark the score sheet in 14:02 of ice time.