Americans Czech Quarterfinal Off Of Their To Do List

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

James van Riemsdyk got Team USA on the board early in the game with a lovely shot after digging the puck out from behind the net. Then Team Czech Republic got the idea that they could probably outplay the Americans and proceeded to do so for several minutes. Their goal was a bit fluky given that it came from Ryan McDonagh trying to clear the puck from in front of the net, the puck hitting Ryan Suter and going in; however, the rush by David Krejci, Ales Hemsky and company created the scramble. Shortly thereafter, pressure from the line of David Backes, Dustin Brown and Ryan Callahan created two goals (Brown, Backes) to give the Americans some breathing room heading into the first intermission.

The second period saw Ondrej Pavelec chased from the net after Zach Parise scored on the first power play of the game. Alexander Salak took over in net just prior to a McDonagh dump in hit the glass by the benches oddly and caused a lengthy delay to allow for it to be fixed. The teams traded chances at even strength but the period ended with the Americans up 4-1.

The third period was fairly uneventful aside from a Phil Kessel goal and an absolute rifle shot by Ales Hemsky that Jonathan Quick had no chance to save. Patrick Kane had a nice breakaway but could not get the puck past Salak. All things considered, the Czech Repulic was a good opponent for the Americans heading into the Semifinals. The Czechs did an excellent job of stifling the zone entries for the Americans on the Power Play, which prior to this game have featured Kane simply skating through the opponent’s defense to gain the zone. Michal Frolik’s line worked very hard and were more noticeable than any other line for the Czechs outside of the play of Hemsky.

All of Team USA’s lines played very well in this game. Obviously, JVR, Kessel et al. are always going to get accolades, but the play of David Backes, Ryan Callahan and Dustin Brown cannot be ignored. Backes has played very well throughout the tournament and today was no exception. Kevin Shattenkirk seems to be enjoying making stretch passes to get the offense moving as much as Ryan Suter and Ryan McDonagh. Shattenkirk had one such pass to Ryan Kesler early in the third period. Kesler drove into the zone and laid a lovely pass on Phil Kessel’s stick a foot from the net. Kessel buried it to give Team USA its fifth goal of the game. Jonathan Quick played well in net, but did give up some juicy rebounds. Luckily, the American defenders were there to tie up sticks and clear the zone.

Corsi

Team/Situation

Period 1

Period 2

Period 3

Totals

USA vs. CZE

2-19-14

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

Corsi For

CF%

USA/5v5

26

56.52%

20

50.00%

25

51.02%

71

52.59%

CZE/5v5

20

43.48%

20

50.00%

24

48.98%

64

47.41%

USA/5v4

N/A

N/A

6

75.00%

2

100%

8

80.00%

CZE/4v5

N/A

N/A

2

25.00%

0

0.0%

2

20.00%

USA/4v5

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

CZE/5v4

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

USA/4v4

N/A

N/A

3

75.00%

N/A

N/A

3

75.00%

CZE/4v4

N/A

N/A

1

25.00%

N/A

N/A

1

25.00%

Team USA will meet Team Canada in the Semifinal round on Friday at 11am CDT on NBCSN.

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