PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia -- Team USA's 4-1-1 record, with its upsets over Sweden, Canada and Czechoslovakia, has won it a spot in the the medal round playoffs with the title defending Soviet Union at the ice hockey World Championships.
Team Canada, Czechoslovakia and Sweden are still fighting for two open playoff berths.
After impressive victories over tough competition in recent days, the USA suffered a letdown Wednesday, squandering a three-goal lead in the final seven minutes to end up with a 5-5 tie with East Germany. In the day's other game, West Germany battled to a 3-3 draw with Finland.
The Canadians tackle the Soviets today and SwedenSaturday, while the Czechs face Sweden today and the Soviets Saturday.
Tom Fergus and Bob Miller combined for three goals before Team USA faded in Wednesday's contest.
'They were all a little tired,' said Art Berglund, manager of the American team. 'When we scored the fifth goal we quit skating. Every period of hockey we played so far was tough hockey.
'This tournament was such a success for us that the fellows were maybe a bit too relaxed today. They quit playing offensive hockey.'
The most effective offensive threat against East Germany were Boston Bruin center Fergus and Los Angeles Kings winger Miller. Fergus scored twice and set up another while Miller bagged one and assisted on two goals.
Calgary Flames center Joel Otto and Hartford Whaler Paul Fenton were the other American scorers, while Harald Boelke, Friedhelm Boegelsack, Ralf Hantschke, Frank Proske and Thomas Graul notched East German goals.
'It wasn't as much that we let down but rather that they started to play a lot better and had us on the ropes in the final minutes,' said Fergus, one of the few players on the U.S. team who had not come up through the college ranks, but played junior hockey with the Peterboro Petes in Canada.5.