Team USA was one of the best men’s hockey teams in the preliminary round at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. After a hot start, the Americans have little margin for error.
On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. is set to play in the quarterfinals. With single-game elimination rules in effect, one slip up by the team would end their quest for gold.
The U.S. will face off with the Czech Republic at noon ET. The contest can be seen live on TV on the USA Network. Fans can also watch a live stream online with NBC Sports Live Extra.
On Tuesday, the Czech Republic survived a scare from Slovakia to advance from the qualification round. They took a 4-0 lead in the second period, but led by just one score halfway through the third. A power play goal Tomas Plekanec with time winding sound sealed the victory, and a meeting with the United States.
Roman Cervenka scored two goals to lead the Czech Republic, but the play of Ondrej Pavelec will be most important on Wednesday. The goaltender has the tough task of trying to match Jonathan Quick, who’ll get the start in net for the Americans. Quick has been resting since Saturday, and Pavelec will be back on the ice with no days in between games.
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The Americans are heavy favorites to advance to the semifinals. Bovada.lv lists Team USA’s odds of winning at -425. The underdog comes in at +325.
The winner of the contest will play either Canada or Latvia on Friday for a chance to play in the gold medal game. The two teams are scheduled to face off at the same time as the U.S. and Czech Republic.