Czech Republic 2
In a winner moves on Olympic hockey game the United States took on the Check Republic today. Both teams wanted to keep up the speed and tempo of the game. The USA team needed to control play from behind the net, and for the Czech Republic they needed to force play to the center of the offensive zone.
During the first period the pace of the game was exactly what the teams wanted. It didn’t take long for the first goal to be scored. USA Hockey jumped out in from 1:39 seconds in to the opening frame. Less than three minutes later the Czech Republic answered back knotting things up at one goal apiece. The Czech goal was an own goal by USA Hockey, credited to Ales Hemsky.
Around the ten minute mark of the first period the Czech’s took over the game skating all over the ice. The Americans had a bit of trouble shutting down the face skating Czech’s. Luckily the score remained 1-1 until the 14:48 mark when USA scored. Dustin Brown fired the puck into the Czech net. Browns goal was caused by a great play at the blue line caused a turn over by Jaromir Jagr. With 1.8 seconds remaining in the period the U.S. team scored again to go up 3-1 (David Backes).
Shots On Goal
Czech Republic 7
As the second period started both teams kept the tempo up. The Czech’s tried to creep back into the game, while the U.S. was trying to close things out. Less than ten minutes in to the period the USA captain Zack Parise added to the lead putting the U.S up 4-1. Being down by three goal the Czech Republic pulled starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec only stopped 8 shots out of the 12 he faced.
Played was stopped around the half way point of the period. The ice crew needed to fix some cracked glass; giving the Czech team a much-needed breather. Shortly after played resumed the teams traded penalties. The period ended with the American up 4-1.
Czech Republic: J Voracek (tripping), Z Michalek (interference)
USA: B Orpik (interference)
With only 20 minutes to play the Czeck Republic needed to come out firing on all cylinders and they were able to do so for the first minutes or two. Just about a minute in to the period the Czech’s crashed the net but were unable to poke the puck past Jonathan Quick. Despite trailing in the game the Czech fore-check was still sub-par, unable to put much pressure on the Americans. As the third period progressed USA hockey was plugging up the Center of the ice forcing the Czech’s to work from the outside in.
With seven minutes to go Ales Hemsky netted his second goal of the game to get the Czech Republic with in three goals. That is at close as the game got. Team USA was able to hold off the last-ditch effort of the Czech’s.
Goal Scorers For The Game
Czech Republic: Ales Hemsky (2)
USA: James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown, David Backes, Zach Parise, Phil Kessel
The American were able to control much of the game, and cruse to a victory. Next up for USA Hockey will be a battle vs. Team Canada. The winner of that match up will earn the right to try for gold.