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Team USA to Play Czech Republic in Quarterfinal Showdown

February 18th, 2014 at 7:24 PM
By Anthony Custode Jr

After holding off Slovakia, the Czech Republic will take on Team USA in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament.

'USA vs Norway - Mens Hockey - Canada Hockey Place - Vancouver British Columbia' photo (c) 2010, kris krüg - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Czechs beat Slovakia 5-3, and they know they will be in for a tough test against the Americans.

"I'm not putting myself down, but if we played best-of-seven I don't like my chances," David Krejci told NHL.com. "But best-of-one? We're going to try to score the first goal and leave everything out there because we don't have to save ourselves for anything. Just go out there, play the game and we'll see what happens."

The Americans know they will need to approach this game with the same attitude, as a sub-par game can result in the US losing its aspirations for gold. Team USA is undefeated in the Olympics so far, and in a similar position as they were in four years ago in Vancouver. They pounded Slovakia and Slovenia, which they were expected to do, and edged Russia in a shootout, quite like they beat Canada in Vancouver in the preliminaries in 2010. Still, the Americans want a different result than they received four years ago. They want gold, and they will need to beat the Czech Republic to get closer to that goal.

The US certainly seems to have the advantage in tomorrow's matchup, however. The Czech Republic struggled to close out Slovakia, which the Americans dismantled 7-1. The Czechs are also hitting the ice against the Americans less than 24 hours after beating Slovakia. Team USA has scored 14 goals in three games, and they have two world-class goaltenders they can choose from to shut the Czechs down, although the feeling is Jonathan Quick will remain the starter for the duration of the tournament. 

Team USA will faceoff against the Czech Republic at Noon ET and will air on the NBC Sports Network. 

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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