Ryan Donato scored two goals for the U.S.in the victory, with James Wisniewski adding a goal and an assist.
"It's do-or-die obviously. We came in with the intention of being confident, not just being anxious about going home". "We're getting better and better."US college star Troy Terry collected his third assist with 6:30 remaining in the second period, his centering pass blasted home by Mark Arcobello for a 3-0 U.S. lead".
The U.S. failed to medal at Sochi 2014, finishing in fourth. It took a little bit.
"I won't call them doubters but we've had people who were pretty skeptical of the team". Arcobello, who scored his first Olympic goal against Slovakia, knew at the first practice how good Donato and Terry would be. While the defensive-minded Slovaks gave the Americans all they could handle, the Czechs play a more offensive game that led them to three wins in the preliminary round.
Less than a minute later, Terry again assisted as Wisniewski scored his goal on a power play to put America up 2-0.
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Less than a minute later, Donato took a check to the head from Michal Cajkovsky, who was given a five-minute major penalty and a match suspension, after Ladislav Nagy had interfered with US goaltender Ryan Zapolski to draw a two-minute penalty. "Putting goals in makes us feel a lot more confident", Donato said.
As coach of the USA men's hockey team, Granato was conducting final evaluations in putting together a 25-man Olympic roster.
Donato's two goals, both assisted by Terry, represented a much-needed breakout for the USA college kids. Zapolski was on his game after giving up some soft goals in the preliminary round and showed his toughness when he took the shot to the head from Nagy.
As was the case in Lake Placid, the US team in Pyeongchang does not include any NHL players, after the league announced in April past year that it would not release its players to take part in the Olympics. "We put them on our team because they're going to be big parts of it and have major impact on how we do".
Despite a 4-0 loss to the Russians to wrap up group play, Granato and his players believe they've gotten better each game and see a benefit in playing the extra qualification-round game to keep improving.
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- Norway beat Slovenia 2-1 in overtime for its first Olympic win since 1994.
Don't forget about college players, Granato said during a quiet moment at Mariucci Arena.
Norway is in the Olympic quarter-finals for the first time thanks to 33 saves from goaltender Lars Haugen.
- Finland played South Korea, with the victor advancing to take on Canada.
Canada face Finland and Germany play Sweden in the other men's quarter-finals. With NHL players forced to stay home, the expectation was that Granato and USA Hockey would focus mostly on professionals playing in Europe and minor leaguers with NHL experience.
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The fourth collegian, defenseman Will Borgen of St. Cloud State, has been scratched all three games.