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Team USA to face Canada in men's hockey semis

Published On: Feb 19 2014 01:27:35 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 01:45:01 PM CST
Phil Kessel, Team USA vs Czech Republic, Sochi Olympics

Grigory Dukor/Reuters

With a balanced attack that featured goals from five different scorers, Team USA beat the Czech Republic 5-2 on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals of the Olympic men's hockey tournament.

David Backes had one of the Americans' four goals and assisted on Dustin Brown's second-period goal. Also scoring for the U.S. was James van Riemsdyk, Zach Parise and Phil Kessel.

Kessel's third-period goal was his fifth of the tournament, including a hat trick in Sunday's win over Slovenia. He also has three assists in Sochi so far.

Ryan Suter added three assists for Team USA in the win. Goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 21 of 23 shots for the win.

Team USA will next face Canada in the semifinals. Canada beat Latvia 2-1 to advance on Wednesday.

Canada beat the U.S. in the gold medal game at both the 2010 and 2002 Winter Games and has a head-to-head Olympic record of 11-3-3 against Team USA. The Canadians also hold the edge in overall Olympic medals, 14 overall with eight golds, compared to two golds and 11 overall medals for the U.S.

Team USA has not won a gold medal in men's hockey since the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The other semifinal matchup will feature Finland, the 2010 bronze medalist, and Sweden, gold medal winners in 2006 and 1994, which also both advanced with wins on Wednesday. Sweden easily beat Slovenia 5-0 while the Finns beat Russia 3-1 to eliminate the host nation from the tournament.

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