Sports

US 5, Czech Republic 2

US men reach hockey semifinals

US captain Zach Parise (right) celebrates his second-period goal with Phil Kessel (rear) and Ryan Suter(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press
US captain Zach Parise (right) celebrates his second-period goal with Phil Kessel (rear) and Ryan Suter.

SOCHI, Russia — The US men’s hockey team surged into the medal round with a dominating 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic at Shayba Arena Wednesday.

The Americans earned a semifinal date with Canada — a 2-1 victor over Latvia — in what will be a rematch of the 2010 final, which the Canadians won in overtime in Vancouver.

It was the first time the Americans had beaten their blue-helmeted rivals in the Games since the Boys of Winter hammered what was the former Czechoslovakia by a 7-3 count in 1980.

Advertisement

This one began auspiciously when James van Riemsdyk scored on the Americans’ second shot on Czech goalie Ondrej Pavelec after just 1:39. Then, after Ales Hemsky equalized for the Czechs out of a scrum at 4:31, Dustin Brown put the US back ahead on an easy look at the open left side at 14:38.

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Then came the killer goal by David Backes with 1.8 seconds left in the period after the Czechs let him pounce on a loose puck and roof a third tally.

The Americans kept their foot on the pedal in the second period, with captain Zach Parise popping in a power-play goal at 9:31.

Backstopped by goalie Jonathan Quick (21 saves) and a stingy defense, the US kept buzzing, and Phil Kessel popped in a fifth goal at 2:01 of the third.