Team USA fails to rise to occasion

Originally Published: December 30, 2004
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- What began as an annoying loose thread with Wednesday's shocking 5-3 loss to lowly Belarus has now become a full-fledged unraveling of the gold medal cloak for the United States' junior team following a disheartening 3-1 loss to the Czech Republic on Thursday night.

On a practical level the loss in what was easily the most entertaining game of the World Junior Championship tournament thus far dropped the Americans to the third seed in their pool and forces them to ...

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