Team Canada lost to Germany in a hard-fought semifinal match in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament in South Korea, going down 4-3.
“A tough loss for us and we let our country down today. It’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Canadian defenceman Mat Robinson, who scored one of Canada’s goals.
“We shot ourselves in the foot in the beginning of the game and we weren’t able to come back from it,” he added.
Canada created a chance for their opponents in the first period by taking penalties. The first goal of the game was scored by Germany’s Brooks Macek late in the period in a five-on-three situation.
The second period was a disaster for Canada. A little more than three minutes in, a German player scored just after he came off the bench. Germany kept the momentum, pressuring Canada and scoring again about four minutes later.
Gilbert Brule finally put Canada on the board after that, scoring on German goaltender Danny Aus Den Birken.
But, Germany scored again on a power play, as the game started to get rougher.
Brule made a big hit to the face of a German player, who lay sprawled on his stomach at centre ice, almost motionless for some time. He was helped off the ice by two people, supporting him as he walked. Brule went off too, after being issued a game misconduct.
This resulted in a five-minute penalty for Canada, though the Canadians managed to fend off the Germans for the rest of the period.
WATCH; Fans of Team Canada were obviously disappointed as they left the Men’s Hockey semifinal game against Germany, but many remained confident that Canada could still clinch bronze.
Canada started the third period a man down, but Mat Robinson scored shortly after the penalty was killed, bringing the score to 4-2. Canadian goaltender Kevin Poulin successfully fended off a penalty shot shortly after Robinson’s goal.
Canada’s Derek Roy shot the puck right through the German goaltender’s legs about halfway through the period, bringing the game to 4-3 as Canada got much more aggressive. But although they pushed hard and played hard in the rest of the third, the Canadians couldn’t quite manage to score a goal to tie the game and force an overtime period.
It was, “too little, too late,” according to Robinson.
Canada outshot Germany 15-1 in the third period and 31-15 for the game. “The guys played hard in the third but that wasn’t enough,” said Canadian forward Maxim Lapierre.
“We didn’t start the way we wanted. We’re definitely not happy with the end result.”
The bronze medal match is Saturday. Canada will face the Czech Republic.
The Germans will face the team of Olympic athletes from Russia for the gold medal on Sunday.
Germany didn’t even qualify for the Olympics in Sochi, partly because NHL players were playing in those Games. With fewer than 10 Germans in the NHL, the absence of the NHLers in Pyeongchang has not hurt the Germans as much as most.
–With files from the Canadian Press