TORONTO -- Dean Lombardi pounded the table and tried to explain it all.His eyes darting back and forth, the Team USA general manager tried to explain the Americans unexpected and disappointing early exit from the World Cup of Hockey.Along the way, Lombardi blamed himself for plenty.The hockey veteran with two Stanley Cup rings said he would have done four or five things differently, most notably preparing his team to face Team Europe and not focus on Canada. But Lombardi defended the decision not to take more skilled players like Phil Kessel because he believes the U.S. couldnt match Canadas depth of talent so it tried to win the tournament another way.We got some darn good players, but the reality is, that matchup on a skill basis, if you want to go head-to-head and play a skill game, your odds of winning that game when you look at those matchups is not very good, Lombardi said during an extensive state of the team news conference Thursday, not long before the Americans played their final game of the tourney. I think that our game allows emotion, competitiveness, caring about each other (to) close that gap more than any other sport.Lombardi criticized himself, his management group, coach John Tortorella and his staff for not getting players more prepared to face Europe in the opener, a 3-0 loss that made the second game against Canada a must win. Tortorella criticized himself for not finding the right mixes of players to generate offense.But the old-school GM and old-school coach werent backing down from the team they selected and the style they chose to play. Lombardi said he wanted 22 guys who care and insisted he doesnt believe Kessel belonged more than some of the other forwards on the roster.If youre talking about Justin Abdelkader, Blake Wheeler, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Kesler, David Backes, Ill take those guys any day on my team, Lombardi said. Those guys have big-time heart and when I talk about caring, theyd be the nucleus of the caring and they compete and they can play for me any day.Kessel, Tyler Johnson, Kyle Okposo, Justin Faulk, Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler didnt play in the World Cup for the U.S., which scored two goals in two games before being eliminated from contention. Patrick Kane, Joe Pavelski, Max Pacioretty and Zach Parise were on the team and combined for zero goals and two assists.Tortorella said USA Hockey has to take its medicine and accepted blame. But hes tired of the second-guessing about roster decisions.Im not going to sit here and let people tell me this team was a bunch of grinders, because its not true, Tortorella said. Im not going to say that we shouldve blown up this whole situation on how we built this team because I think we have really good people there.After losing to Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, the U.S. made no secret of its focus on Canada. The 2010 team that was one goal away from beating Canada for gold in Vancouver on NHL-sized ice provided the blueprint in 2016, though several of those players were of course six years older.Players on every team called Canada the favorite, but the U.S. was alone in constructing a team with the two-time Olympic and world championship winners in mind.We clearly put an emphasis on that from day one, Lombardi said. What could we have done better here to raise our emotional levels. I think for sure, if you were coming here to win this thing, it clearly goes through Canada.Canada beat the U.S. 4-2 Tuesday in a game that wasnt as close as the score. It wasnt nearly as competitive as two exhibition games against Canada, which Lombardi said mightve had too much of an impact as Tortorella constantly tinkered with his lineup.Line juggling prevented the Americans from developing any real chemistry. But Lombardi was more concerned about players not being mentally ready for or respecting Team Europe in the first game and looking ahead to Canada.I think even the connotation was `Europe, so it wasnt a real team, Lombardi said. It was kind of like, its not the same as when youre going up against this is what these tournaments are all about, and thats the nationalism factor. I think just even the name, you kind of just said, `Ah, lets get through this and get to these guys.Those guys were the Canadians, who went 3-0 and outscored opponents 14-3 in round-robin play and are clear favorites going into the semifinals this weekend. Tortorella doesnt regret making Canada the focus even as the U.S. goes home.We failed, Tortorella said. Our thoughts were right at Canada. Thats who teams have to go through to win. We could not out-skill them, and I have to be honest about that. You have to make adjustments. I thought we did it the right way, I thought Dean did it the right way, but the offensive part falls on me to not getting the combination that worked.---Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SWhyno http://www.eaglesrookiestore.com/Eagles-Lane-Johnson-Jersey/ . Michell Burger, a woman who lives on an estate next to Pistorius gated community, said she and her husband were awoken by the screams in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14 last year, when Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp by shooting four times through a door in his bathroom. http://www.eaglesrookiestore.com/Eagles-Tommy-Mcdonald-Jersey/ . The news was first reported on Gonzalezs Twitter account and confirmed by the Rockies. Gonzalez has a six-week window before position players have their first workout at spring training in Arizona. http://www.eaglesrookiestore.com/Eagles-Brent-Celek-Jersey/ . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. http://www.eaglesrookiestore.com/Eagles-Trey-Burton-Jersey/ .com) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season when they host the struggling New York Islanders in tonights clash at the Bell Centre. http://www.eaglesrookiestore.com/Eagles-Brian-Westbrook-Jersey/ . Vettel, who has already clinched his fourth straight F1 title, enters the finale with a chance to equal Michael Schumachers 13 victories in a year and match the record of nine consecutive wins by Alberto Ascari in the 1952 and 1953 seasons. WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Forget those old times of futility, and dont even worry about having to play football in a hurricane. Wake Forest is winning, and the way the Demon Deacons beat Syracuse 28-9 on Saturday night was methodical.John Wolford ran for two touchdowns and a career-best 94 yards, and threw for 140 yards to lead Wake Forest (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).Wolford was 13 of 22 and scored from the 7 and 37-yard line in the second quarter. Cade Carney, a freshman who had missed the three previous games with a knee injury, added 104 yards rushing on 29 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown for the Demon Deacons.Cameron Glenn returned a fumble 83 yards for a TD with 1:30 remaining to seal it for Wake Forest.We played really well defensively. We were concerned because the other Power 5 teams weve played have thrown the ball and got off to fast starts, said Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson. We preached fast start all week.Dontae Strickland carried 13 times for 74 yards and a score to lead the Orange (2-4, 0-2). Eric Dungey was 16 of 25 for 156 yards passing.The game was played through the outer bands of Hurricane Matthew, with a steady rain through the first half.In the first half we drove the ball consistently in those conditions, Wolford said. And then we had the drive in the fourth quarter. Its good to be able to close out games like we did tonight.Syracuse forced a safety on the Deacons opening drive. Dungeys pass from the Wake Forest 12 was picked off by Amari Henderson in the end zone with a second left in the first half and the Deacons leading 14-9.We knew when the game started, with the weather the game was going to come down to turnovers and who was able to execute and stay patient the longest, Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. We had some costly turnovers, three-and-outs, and some bad situations. Those really forced us to do soome things down the stretch to put it back in their favor.ddddddddddddWake Forest paid tribute to late alumnus Arnold Palmer with a pregame video tribute and his trademark umbrella logo painted at the 50-yard line.THE TAKEAWAYSYRACUSE: The Orange had their four-game win streak snapped against the Demon Deacons, and have lost four of its last five games. Syracuse could not move the ball consistently, picking up just two first downs in the first quarter and none in the third.WAKE FOREST: The Demon Deacons are 5-1 for just the eighth time in the program, their first since 2006. The 1944 team started 7-0. Wolford managed a solid game despite indicating pain in his right throwing hand for most of the second half.It was a stinger, Wolford said. Ive had those before. That was why I was shaking my hand. I think the rain affected my passes, too. Ive got to make some of those throws that I missed.PLAY OF THE DAYIt was Hendersons first career interception, which kept the Orange from stealing the lead at halftime, or for that matter scoring anymore points. The redshirt freshman, who was in on four tackles, has broken up six passes.STAT LINEWake Forest senior linebacker Marquel Lee had a career-best 15 tackles, included 12 solo tackles and a pair of sacks. We knew they like to go fast, and we had to punch them in the mouth and force some three-and-outs and get them off the field, Lee said.UP NEXTSYRACUSE: The Orange host No. 25 Virginia Tech on Saturday, then travel to Boston College on Oct. 22. The Orange have their bye-week before their last four ACC contests.WAKE FOREST: The Deacons travel next Saturday to No. 23 Florida State. They then have an open date before hosting Army, followed with three of their last four ACC games at home. 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