U.S. Olympic Team, with four Badgers, reaches hockey semifinals

Suter and McDonagh

Feb. 19, 2014

SOCHI, Russia –- The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team received goals from five different players in its 5-2 quarterfinal round win over Czech Republic at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. None of the Badgers playing in the game scored goals, but they combined for five assists, including three by Ryan Suter (Madison, Wis.) and one each by Ryan McDonagh (St. Paul, Minn.) and Joe Pavelski (Plover, Wis.).

Team USA will play Canada in Friday’s (Feb. 21) semifinals at 11 a.m. CT, with the game airing live on NBC Sports Network. The U.S. is in the semifinals for the third time in the last four Olympics.

"We wanted to jump out in this game and play with pace and play with speed, and I thought we did that," said Dan Bylsma, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. "Getting out to the lead was exactly where we wanted to be in this game and rode the lead out for the win."

Team USA grabbed a 1-0 advantage just 1:39 into the game. Patrick Kane and Ryan Kesler  cycled the puck along the right wall before sliding it to James van Riemsdyk behind the net. Van Riemsdyk curled around the right side of the crease and wristed the puck short-side between Ondrej Pavelec’s glove and left leg.

The Czechs tied the game at 4:31 on a scramble in front of the net that was credited to Ales Hemsky.

Dustin Brown buried a cross-ice feed from David Backes at 14:38 to deliver a 2-1 lead. Suter corralled a blocked shot at the right point and sent the puck to Backes. From the lower right circle, Backes lasered a pass through the defense to Brown, who had a gaping net at which to shoot.

Backes boosted the U.S. lead to 3-1 with just two seconds left in the opening frame. after taking a pass from McDonagh, Suter’s shot deflected wide and caromed hard out to the right goal line. Backes spun to recover the puck and rifled it past a sprawling Pavelec.

Zach Parise notched the third sharp-angle goal of the day for Team USA at 9:31 of the second stanza, making it 4-1. Pavelski’s slapshot, after a pass from Suter, ricocheted off the end boards to the left edge of the crease, where Parise slid it under Pavelec’s right leg.

At 2:01 of the third period, Phil Kessel notched his team-best fifth goal of the tournament. Kesler led a two-on-two opportunity down the left side and found Kessel streaking to the right post for a redirection into the net.

Hemsky supplied the second Czech Republic goal with seven minutes left in regulation to close the scoring.

Notes: For today's box score, plus video highlights and photos, click here ... Joe Pavelski is on a three-game scoring streak (1-4=5) ... Ryan Suter played a team-high 22:10 ... Dustin Brown led Team USA with five shots on goal ... For the compete Team USA roster, click here ... former Badger Tony Granato, assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, serves as assistant coaches ... former Badger Derek Stepan is on the roster and played in the final game of pool play against Slovenia

Thanks to USA Hockey

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