Team USA hockey defeats Czech Republic, advances to semi-finals

By Robby Sabo,

The Men’s USA Ice Hockey Team was impressive yet again. Today, they defeated a skilled Czech Republic team 5-2 in the Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament at Sochi.

Head Coach Dan Bylsma changed up the lines prior to the game, which put Captain Zach Parise on the top line with Ryan Kesler and Patrick Kane. The results were outstanding. Parise scored in the second period while on the power play, notes CBS Sports.

Other notables for the USA lineup include Ryan Callahan, Dustin Brown and David Backes. The defensive-minded-line combined for two goals and a lot of rough stuff. Their target to shut down was the Czech’s best player in Jaromir Jagr, which they did. Jagr was limited to no shots on goal and a -1 plus/minus in the game, according to ESPN.

USA Goalie Jonathon Quick was brilliant again. He stopped 21 shots on 23 attempts and came up huge in the first period where for a descent chunk of time the Czech team was outplaying the Americans.

This victory, along with Canada defeating Latvia today in a nail-biter, has set up one monster of a hockey game. Team USA will skate against Team Canada to determine who will move on to the Gold Medal Game.

During the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, Team Canada Captain - and perhaps best player in the world - Sydney Crosby buried the game winner in overtime as Canada defeated the U.S. in what some consider the best hockey game ever. Canada walked away with the gold that time.

Back and forth action, passion, determination and spilled-guts everywhere were on display four years ago. So it begs the question: What will these two teams have for us this time around?

The word of the past week has been pride, and nobody can measure how bad these guys want that gold medal around their necks.

image courtesy of NBC

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