USA's offense explodes again in win against Czechs

USA's offense explodes again in win against Czechs

Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 19, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; USA goalie Jonathan Quick (32) celebrates with Ryan Callahan (24) after defeating Czech Republic in the men's ice hockey quarterfinals during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Shayba Arena. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports


by KEVIN ALLEN / USA Today Sports

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 4:55 PM

SOCHI, Russia – Questions about whether Team USA put enough scorers on its Olympic roster have been answered after the Americans moved into the semifinals with a 5-2 quarterfinal win.

The Americans will now play Canada on Friday in a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game opponents. Sweden plays Finland in the other semifinal.

Watch: U.S. men's hockey topples Czech Republic

After four games, the Americans are the tournament's highest-scoring team and they have outscored the opposition 20-6.

James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown, David Backes, Zach Parise and Phil Kessel all scored for the Americans. Defenseman Ryan Suter assisted on three goals.

Click here for game photos

When the Olympic roster was announced on Jan. 1, there was second-guessing on the selection committee's decision to leave off some high-scoring forwards, such as Bobby Ryan and Kyle Okposo.

The committee recognized they were leaving some goals off the table, but was trying to put together a team known for its fast pace and tenacity.

The Americans expected to have enough scoring, and they have. Twelve different players have found the net en route to the semifinals.

By winning the quarterfinals, the USA is guaranteed of playing in the gold-medal or bronze-medal game.

The Czechs tied the game 1-1 in the first period on a goal by Ales Hemsky, but Brown and Backes scored later in the period to give USA a two-goal bulge. Backes scored with two seconds left in the period.

Kessel leads the team with five goals, and eight points.

Jonathan Quick is solid in net, making it obvious that he will be USA's guy through the rest of the tournament unless there is an injury.

Follow Kevin Allen on Twitter @ByKevinAllen