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Defeat Dims U.S. Hopes in World Hockey Playoffs

From Associated Press

Team USA lost a game to Czechoslovakia 5-4 today and was virtually eliminated from medal play at the World Hockey Championships.

It was the Americans’ fourth straight setback in the preliminary round of the eight-team championships.

Team Canada and the Soviet Union earlier posted convincing victories at Stockholm’s Globe Arena to improve their records to 4-0.

Team USA, which trailed 3-0 at one stage of the game, rallied, but its comeback fell short.

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Earlier in the round-robin tourney, the Americans absorbed a pair of 4-2 losses to the Soviet Union and Sweden. On Tuesday, the U.S. squad lost 8-2 to Canada.

The Americans will fail to reach the medal play starting April 26 if defending world champion Sweden beats winless Finland tonight in Stockholm.

“We seem to be the team of the tournament that can’t win despite good play,” said Team USA Coach Tim Taylor of Yale.

“We would very much like to hear our anthem at the end of a game here. That’s what we’re here for.”

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Czechoslovakia survived U.S. pressure near the end of the game played at Sodertalje, south of Stockholm.

With 1:07 left and the Americans losing 5-4, Taylor pulled goalie Robb Stauber for an extra attacker.

Phil Housley, a defense man from the Buffalo Sabres, had an excellent chance with about 30 seconds left as he was left unchecked just outside the crease. But Czech goalie Dominik Hasek came up with a brilliant save.

Team USA never led in the game but came back from a 3-1 deficit after the first two periods and cut Czechoslovakia’s lead to just one goal three times in the final session.

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