Both the United States and Czech Republic came out strong with a lot of pressure and good attacks in the opposition’s zone. James van Riemsdyk put the Americans on the board first after scoring from an angle. The Czech would respond quickly when, or rather the U.S. would do it for them when Ryan McDonagh tried clearing the puck that bounced off a teammate and into its own net, tying the game up at 1-1.
The game remain tied until late in the period the U.S. tallied two goals onto the board. Ryan Suter (who finished with 3 Assists) set up the 2nd goal for team USA, passing down low to David Backes who found Dustin Brown with a cross ice pass and found the back of the net to give the Americans a 2-1 lead. Suter would set up the 3rd Goal after shooting the puck wide that allowed the puck to bounce of the boards, right back to Backes who found the back of the net during the waning seconds of the 1st period. USA headed into the intermission with a 3-1 lead.
USA continued building on its strong performance! Midway through the 2nd, the U.S. received the games first Power Play. USA would again use the boards to create a goal, bouncing the puck behind the net where Zach Parise was able score off the rebound, putting Team USA up 4-1! Czech Republic would then make a goaltending change, replacing Ondrej Pavelec with Alexander Salak. USA used its speed and created traffic around the net to generate their scoring opportunities and goals!
Early in the 3rd, USA once again attacked the net after Ryan Kesler found Phil Kessel in front of the net while in motion and put the puck in the back of the net for the U.S.’s 5th goal! Team USA would give up a late goal when Alex Hemsky (who was credited with the Czech’s first goal that was put in by the USA themselves) shot a nice wrister over the right shoulder of U.S. Goalie Jonathan Quick. However, when all was said and done, the U.S. prevailed with a 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic to advance to the Semi-Finals where they will face Team Canada in a 2010 Gold Medal Game rematch! Through four games, the United States had outscored its opponents 19-6 and have proven they are quite capable of scoring during 5 on 5 hockey, even after some critics made mentioned to the fact that both of their goals against Russia came on the Power Play.
Also with the win, Team USA is guaranteed to play for a medal, as the losers of the next round will face off in the Bronze Medal Game. (Sweden and Finland will face each other in the other Semi-Final match up) Make no mistake about it though, the U.S. came to the Olympics for one reason and that was to win Gold and are now one step closer to achieving that goal!
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Checkout my piece on T.J. Oshie! http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2014/02/tj-oshie-new-american-badass.html