May 15, 2012, 5:04 PM EDT
They may not have finished first in their group, but Team USA is on fire heading into the elimination round at the World Championships.
After taking down Switzerland 5-2 in their final preliminary round game, the United States is off to the quarterfinals with a rematch against host Finland up next as they aim to land a medal. Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists while Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots to lock down the win. Bobby Ryan also added a goal and an assist.
Team USA finishes the preliminary round going 4-2-0-1, their best opening round since 1939. With Team USA’s win, they avoided finishing behind both Finland and Slovakia who each won their final games. Canada will face Slovakia in Group H’s other quarterfinal match-up.
Now the Americans will have a Thursday date in the quarters against a Finnish team they dominated over the weekend in a 5-0 win (watch that game live at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday on NBCSN). Team USA won’t be able to get revenge on Anssi Salmela for his brutal hit from behind on Alex Goligoski in that game as Salmela was suspended for three games by the IIHF. At this point in the tournament, the Americans will happily settle for another win over revenge.
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