Another solid performance by Team USA in Sochi today advances them to Friday’s semifinal. James van Riemsdyk opened up the scoring early on, beating Ondrej Pavelec to the net at 1:39 into the game. The Czech Republic didn’t wait long to return the favor. Ales Hemsky scored at 4:31 with the first of his two goals – the only two the Czechs would manage to get in the game.
USA went on a scoring rip at the end of the first period, with goals from Dustin Brown and David Backes. They also scored the lone goal of the second period, and on a power play to boot. Zach Parise grabbed a rebound, tucking it behind Pavelec and into the net. That goal would be Pavelec’s undoing, as he was pulled shortly thereafter and replaced by Alexander Salak. The two teams exchanged penalties late in the second, going 4-on-4 at one point, but neither team could capitalize on another power play for the rest of the game.
Nor did the USA really need to, especially after Phil Kessel’s third-period goal effectively nailed the coffin on Team Czech’s hopes of advancing. Hemsky added another goal for the Czechs with 7:00 to go in the game, but they failed to rally and ultimately fell to Team USA.
So, you may be wondering, how did Patrick Kane do? Even though he didn’t tally a goal for the team, he had more than a few great looks but just couldn’t find the back of the net. He did, however, get credit for an assist on the opening goal by van Riemsdyk.
USA faces Canada in the semifinal round on Friday. The winner of that game will go on to Sunday’s gold medal game, while the other team will go on to Saturday’s bronze medal game.
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