(SOCHI, Russia) — The United States men’s hockey team is headed to the semifinals for the second straight time after crushing the Czech Republic 5-2 on Wednesday.
Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal late in the first period and the U.S. never looked back.
They’ll face the Canadians on Friday, who held off Latvia 2-1 to punch their ticket to the semifinals.
“It starts off the ice,” American forward Max Pacioretty said. “Everyone on this team realizes you have to play for the team and check your ego at the door. All of us are the top players on our team back home, and you come here and you’re asked to play different roles.
“You see everyone in the room willing to go to the dirty areas, block shots, make hits. It’s nice to see when you see a guy like Patty Kane backchecking as hard as he can across the ice. It kind of puts things in perspective.”
Center Zach Perise put the Americans up 4-1 with a goal in the second period to give them some wiggle room on the ice.
The Russians have been the only team to test the United States in a eight round shootout, which the U.S. won 3-2. The U.S. has skated past Slovakia, Slovenia, and now the Czech Republic by a combined score of 17-4.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com
James Hanlon, CNN