Phil Kessel scored his team-high fifth goal of the Sochi Games as the U.S. men's hockey team defeated the Czech Republic 5-2 tonight to set up a semifinal showdown against three-time defending champion Canada.
James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown, David Backes and Zach Parise also had goals for the Americans, who have outscored opponents 20-6 while winning all four of their games at the Olympics as they seek their first gold medal since 1998.
Contact information ( * required )
Canada advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 defeat of Latvia in a quarterfinal contest played next door in Bolshoy Arena at the same time as the U.S.-Czech game in Shayba Arena.
The other semifinal to be played Feb. 21 will be between 2006 Olympic champion Sweden and Finland, which won 3-1 against Olympic host Russia in a quarterfinal earlier today. Sweden won 5-0 against Slovenia in the round of eight.
Van Riemsdyk opened the scoring 99 seconds into the game and the Czechs tied it three minutes later when the puck deflected off American defenseman Ryan Suter's left skate and past goalie Jonathan Quick into the U.S. net.
Brown made it 2-1 late in the first period and Backes added another goal with 1.8 seconds left in the period. Parise scored on a power play midway through the second period and Kessel added his goal in the third.
Ales Hemsky, who got credit for the first Czech goal, got his second with seven minutes left in the third period to make it 5-2.