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Team USA defeats Czech Republic to advance to semifinals to face Canada

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After a 5-2 win over the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Feb. 19, Team USA will be heading to the semifinals of the Olympic Men’s Hockey Tournament.

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Toronto Maple Leafs forward James Van Riemsdyk started off the scoring early for team USA, getting USA on the board merely 1:39 into the game.

However, Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky knotted the game up for the Czechs less than three minutes later.

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown would put the Americans back in the lead 2-1 with 5:22 remaining in the opening period.

The Americans then grabbed a 3-1 lead with a goal by David Backes of the St. Louis Blues with merely two seconds remaining the first period.

A goal by Minnesota Wild forward and Team USA captain Zach Parise gave the Americans a 4-1 lead 9:31 into the second period, and Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs gave them a commanding 5-1 lead 2:01 into the third period.

The Czech’s would get one more goal by Ales Hemsky with seven minutes remaining to cut the USA lead to 5-2, but that would be the end of the scoring as Team USA would hold on for victory.

Shortly after Team USA officially notched their victory against the Czech Republic, Team Canada narrowly escaped an upset with a 2-1 victory over underdog Team Latvia, setting up a highly anticipated rematch of the 2010 Gold Medal game between USA and Canada.

However, this time the winning team will not immediately be awarded with gold medals, but instead with a date with either Finland or Sweden in the Gold Medal Game on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. Eastern.

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