Thursday, April 17, 2014

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USA rolls to semifinal matchup with Canada

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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Dustin Brown banged in a go-ahead goal late in the first period and the United States went on to dominate the Czech Republic 5-1 Wednesday, earning a spot in the Olympic hockey semifinals for the second straight time.

James van Riemsdyk gave the Americans a lead 1:39 into the game. They lost it a few minutes later when one of their defenseman, Ryan McDonagh tried to clear the puck away from the front of the crease and it went off the left skate of Ryan Suter and got past Jonathan Quick.

Shea Weber scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 6:54 to play, and Canada survived an enormous scare from Latvia -- coached by Sabres' interim head coach Ted Nolan -- to advance to the Olympic men's hockey semifinals with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

Carey Price made 15 saves for the defending Olympic champion Canadians, who were stretched to the limit by Latvia goalie Kristers Gudlevskis.

The 21-year-old Tampa Bay Lightning prospect made 55 saves in a spectacular performance, nearly pulling one of the biggest upsets in hockey history largely by himself.

But Weber unleashed his peerless slap shot late in a power play, and Canada finally took the lead on its 54th shot against Gudlevskis.

Canada advanced to a semifinal meeting with the United States in a rematch of the gold-medal game in Vancouver four years ago.

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