U.S.A breezes by the Czechs, Canadians await in semis
The U.S.A marches on.
The Americans picked apart the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, winning 5-2 behind goals from James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown, David Backes, Zach Parise and Phil Kessel.
The U.S., as they've done often in the tournament, scored right out of the gate, with van Riemsdyk scoring just 1:39 in the first.
Ales Hemsky did get one back for the Czechs at 4:31, scoring an unassisted goal which brought the game level at one. But Brown gave the lead back to the U.S. 10 minutes later at 14:38, and the Red White and Blue never looked back.
So ends the Olympic tournament for Bruin forward David Krejci, as he joins Zdeno Chara as the other Bruin to be heading home from Russia early. The three other members of the Black and Gold will all play in the semifinals for their respective nations. And all three have an excellent chance of returning home with some hardware.
Tuukka Rask and Finlandwill take on Loui Eriksson and Sweden in one semifinal, and the United States will take on Patrice Bergeron and Canada.
The two semis will be all-timers. All four teams left can make a serious case for winning it all on Sunday. All four teams have the talent and the pedigree to be crowned Olympic champions.
For the Americans, going through the Canadians will be a wicked test, but I'm supremely confident in their chances to come out on top. The Canadians have struggled against weak competition thus far; 1-1 halfway through the third vs Lativa? LATVIA?!
The Americans are not afraid of this Canadian squad. They will not be star-struck by their skill and talent. To loosely borrow from Herb Brooks...the Americans can shut them down because they can!
The puck drops Friday at Noon. Be there to witness history. Or on NBCSN. Orrrr USA. Either way, be there.