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Suter upset with ‘terrible’ U.S. performance: ‘You can’t play scared’

Feb 21, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT

No U.S. skater played more than Ryan Suter in Friday’s semifinal loss to Canada, and no U.S. skater sounded more upset after the game.

From NHL.com’s Arpon Basu:

Suter, who logged a game-high 26:11, called the Americans’ performance “frustrating,” a byproduct of watching an offense that racked up 20 goals in its first four games get completely shut down in its fifth.

“We didn’t show up to play. It’s kind of frustrating,” Suter said, per the Olympic News Service. “They’re a good team. We sat back, we were passive. You can’t play scared.”

Passiveness will likely be a topic of conversation for quite some time. The Canadians almost seemed to take a page from the Latvians and Finns on how to stifle the opposition and neutralize the offense, packing the middle of the ice while thwarting any sustained American pressure.

Consider this visual from IIHF.com’s Risto Pakarainen:

source:

The result? While the Americans did put 31 shots on goal, 22 of them came in the first two periods. Trailing by one in a must-win final frame, the U.S. could only muster nine on Carey Price.

“I thought we sat on our heels and just didn’t take it to them at all,” Suter said. “We had motivation. We just didn’t take it on the ice.”

Asked to describe which loss to Canada was worse — the gold medal game in ’10 or the ’14 semifinal — Suter didn’t hesitate.

“This one,” he said. “We didn’t show up to play and it’s just very frustrating.”

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