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USA forward James van Riemsdyk (21) scores against Czech Republic goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) early in the first period of a Winter Olympics quarterfinal game at Shayba Arena in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday. The USA defeated the Czech Republic, 5-2. (Chuck Myers/MCT)

US wins

U.S. men cruise by Czechs to reach hockey semis; Canada is next


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 medallists 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.

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