2014 Sochi Olympics: Team USA Avoids Letdown Game vs. Czech Republic

By Greg Higgins
USA Men's Hockey
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Men‘s hockey team advanced to the semifinals after defeating the Czech Republic 5-2 on Wednesday. The win was a complete team effort as the U.S. got goals from five different players while Ryan Suter dished out three assists.

With the win, the U.S. will now advance to play Team Canada, who also won on Wednesday. This is the highly anticipated rematch from four years ago when Canada defeated the U.S. in the gold medal game. The only problem this time around is the game will be played during the semifinal round instead of in a medal game.

Due to seeding from the preliminary round, there was no way these two would play against each other for the gold medal. This adds a little disappointment to the game, but it should still be high drama. There was a little concern of a letdown game against the Czech Republic in anticipation of a rematch with their neighbors from the north. However, David Backes and company made sure that didn’t happen.

Jonathan Quick was given the nod between the pipes once again after Ryan Miller played the final game of the preliminary round on Sunday. Quick made 21 saves en route to the victory. Zach Parise, Backes,  James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown and Phil Kessel all scored a goal for the U.S. Team.

One thing is certain; with the win, Team USA will definitely be playing for a medal in these Olympics. Which medal? That we don’t know yet. With a win over Canada, they will play Sunday for gold. A loss, however, and they will play Saturday for bronze. Either way, they have put themselves in the position they wanted to be in at the beginning of the Olympics. Now let’s hope they bring home the gold.

Greg Higgins is an Olympic writer for rantsports. Follow him on Twitter.

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