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U.S. cruise by Czechs to reach semis

U.S. cruise by Czechs to reach semis

USA FOR THE WIN: Team USA's David Backes (42) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against Czech Republic during the first period of their men's quarter-finals ice hockey game at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Photo: Reuters

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – The United States rolled into the semi-finals of the men’s ice hockey tournament with a 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic at the Sochi Olympics on Wednesday.

The 2010 silver medalists scored 99 seconds into the game and, despite a solid effort from the Czechs during a fast-paced opening period, were never really tested the rest of the way.

David Backes’s goal with two seconds remaining in the first period, when he took advantage of a big bounce off the end board and scored from along the goal line, held up as the game winner.

The United States will now play Canada in one of Friday’s two semi-finals. The game will be a rematch of the 2010 gold medal clash, which Canada won 3-2 in overtime.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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