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U.S. offense keeps rolling in easy win over Czech Republic

Feb 19, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

USA forward Zach Parise (9) celebrates his goal against the Czech Republic with teammates Phil Kessel (81) and USA defenseman Ryan Suter during the second period of men's quarterfinal hockey game in Shayba Arena at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) AP

On a day filled with dramatic matchups, the Americans continued to assert themselves as a major gold medal contender by cleanly beating the Czech Republic 5-2.

One of the things that has set the Americans apart from some of the other major contenders in this tournament is the ability to adapt to the big ice and thrive offensively. That’s something that almost every forward on this team has done, evidenced by today’s game where five different forwards — James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown, David Backes, Zach Parise, and Phil Kessel — found the back of the net for the United States.

That brings the number of Americans that have scored in this tournament to 12. This also was the third time in four games the U.S. scored at least five goals.

VIDEO: Watch Backes’ last-second goal from first period

Czech Republic goaltender Ondrej Pavelec faced an uphill battle against the Americans and he wasn’t up to the task today, stopping just eight of 12 shots before he was yanked midway through the second period.

His performance throughout this tournament will likely make the Czechs think back to the good old days when Dominik Hasek and Tomas Vokoun made goaltending one of the nation’s strengths. Perhaps if they had that caliber of netminding today, things might have gone differently — they played well for the most part, and got a pair of goals from Ales Hemsky that would have helped make a contest out of this match under better circumstances.

VIDEO: Brown gives U.S. 2-1 win

Instead the Czech Republic has lost in the quarterfinals for the second straight Winter Games. Its last link to the 1998 gold medal winning team, Jaromir Jagr, has likely played in his last Olympic contest.

This Czech team, which made numerous questionable coaching and roster selection decisions, will be left hoping that its young players will be able to take over after the old guard couldn’t get the job done in its last hurrah.

Meanwhile the Americans, filled with players in their prime, look onward and upwards.

  1. cofran2004 - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Bring on canada…

    This will be an epic game.

  2. pastabelly - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    “This also was the third time in four matches that the United States scored at least five goals.”

    Matches???? Really? What is this, soccer? Can’t we continue to call them GAMES in North America?

    In any case, it’s time for the pretenders to go away. It’s USA-Canada and Finland-Sweden and the four best teams are playing for medals. Now, it gets really good.

  3. strictlythedanks - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Its been a thrill to watch Phil. Suter was a beast all game as always.

  4. hammerhead5573 - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    And to think before the Olympics even started, sooo many people were talking about how bad this team was. I have not watched every minute of every game but this team is nothing but work horses, with a solid defense which are 2 main ingredients to winning.

    • dueman - Feb 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Where do you live that “sooo many people were talking about how bad this team was”….Neverland? This American team has been considered a threat for gold since it was named.

      From a Canadian here, I wish all you American fans good luck on Friday. It should be a great game to watch!

      • pastabelly - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        I agree. The only criticism of the American team was that it left off some good players and that its defense was on the young side. I never heard anybody say that they weren’t a threat for gold. Just because Canada was the favorite going in, USA was always thought to be in the mix. I would say the team that was unfairly dismissed a bit was Finland. The USA, Canada, and Swedene are all where everyone thought they would be.

      • hammerhead5573 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Umm. I’m not sure where Neverland is but since you asked , I currently live in New York. Not sure where I live has anything to do with my comment. And I respectfully disagree, you must not have been reading closely ; as soon as the team was announced many people were talking about how poor this team was especially the defense. I get it though, many were just saying that because their player didn’t make the team. Furthermore I never said they weren’t a threat for the gold. From the beginning I though it would be the U.S. Or Canada.

      • c9castine - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        wow you guys have short memories prob wouldn’t be hard to dig up some articles that had a lot of people saying americans probably wouldn’t medal maybe get bronze or silver but canada-sweden-russia were the favorites in every conversation.

  5. btlpper68 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Backes though just looked like he got some rope tied up jagr and shut him down

    • jhaegs - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      I hope he gets matched up against Toews. Those two always have an epic battle, and Backes has got the best of him this season.

  6. 19to77 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    That JVR-Pavelski-Kessel line is the scariest thing in this tournament. Crosby hasn’t found this much chemistry with anyone on the Canadian roster, including the guy they brought along from his team specifically for their chemistry together.

    • jkay1818 - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      add the backes, callahan and brown line to the mix.they have been unreal defensively and have been crushing people.
      Kane hasn’t done anything yet, if he get’s going, watch out now.

  7. slaugin - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Backes is quickly turning into my favorite non-Bruin. Real Quickly

  8. stateofthesport - Feb 20, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Half way through the second period you had 12 shpt’s on net,, lol we had 35 shots on net halfway though the second,,i think Canada going to give you guy’s a run for your money, much more than you all are saying for our team…

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