The Canadians had no answer for two Swedish goals in Wednesday's quarterfinals match, which means for the first time since 2006, a Canadian team will not play for an Olympic medal.
The flat-looking Canadians fell behind 1-0 to the Swedes at the National Indoor Stadium and could never make up the deficit, resulting in a stunning quarterfinal exit for Canada. After the Swedes added an empty netter with 1:50 remaining, which closed out a 2-0 win, it marked Canada's worst hockey showing since the Olympics in Milan 17 years earlier.
“It really boils down to one little mistake and one bad break,” a disappointed Canadian coach Claude Julien said. “You knew it was going to be one of those games that whoever got a bit of a break was going to win.
From the moment the NHL pulled players out of the Olympic tournament in December, this was the worst fear. To be clear, Canada did what it could to put together a strong lineup that at least would be difficult to play against. But it wasn't enough.
So, the much-anticipated US-Canada rematch will not happen. Even if Canada had won and advanced, the Americans had their own problems.
The U.S. was the unlikely top-seed heading into quarterfinals play and thus the equally unlikely first major exit as they dropped a 3-2 shootout loss to eight-seeded Slovakia in a quarterfinal.