The United States were eliminated from the 2011 World Championships today losing 4-0 to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. Jaromir Jagr led the Czechs with a hat trick and Tomas Plekanec also scored. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec of the Atlanta Thrashers saved 29 shots for the shutout.
This U.S.A. squad bore little resemblance to the silver medal winning Olympic team as only two players from that team, Jack Johnson and Mike Komisarek, appeared. Instead this tournament was used as an opportunity for the younger American players to gain international experience. The U.S. team averaged only 24.4 years of age. Chris Kreider(Boston College), Blake Wheeler(Atlanta Thrashers), Nick Palmieri(NJ Devils), Derek Stepan(NY Rangers) and Kevin Shattenkirk( St. Louis Blues) were some of the players who excelled in this tournament. Despite the disappointing result, the future certainly looks bright for U.S.A. Hockey. We can expect to see some of these players mixed in with the more established American stars in future international competitions.