It comes down to this: The U.S. needs to beat Slovakia (4 a.m. Monday) or it will be sent to the relegation round for the second year in a row.
The Americans took favorite Canada to the limit early Sunday morning, but lost 2-1 after not being able to convert a late power-play chance.
The Americans also lost to Russia by the same score and the same circumstance two days earlier.
For a full story on the U.S.-Canada game, see the Herald website.
Slovakia won’t be a walk-over game for the U.S. The Slovaks took Russia to overtime and they were leading Canada 3-1 at the midway point of that game before losing 6-3.