The USA men's hockey team is set to take on the Czech Republic Wednesday in the quarterfinals after the Czechs topped the Slovaks 5-3 Tuesday in qualifying play. The Czech Republic looked to be cruising, going up 4-0, but Slovakia roared back with two goals form Marian Hossa and one from Tomas Surovy. Tomas Plekanec iced things away with an empty netter. Roman Cervenka, who currently plays in the KHL, paced the Czechs with two goals in the game. Although Cervenka was the star in this particular contest, the Czechs have gotten solid contributions from their core of veteran NHLers in the tournament.
Carrying over his ageless NHL play has been Devils 42-year-old right wing Jaromir Jagr (2g,1a.) The Czechs have a grizzled vet leading them on the blue line as well in 37-year-old Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky (2g,1a.) Other NHL players contributing for the Czech republic include Bruins center David Krejci (1g, 2a,) Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek (1g, 1a,) Oilers forward Ales Hemsky (1g, 1a,) and Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec (1g, 3a.) The team even displaying some forward depth with Coyotes pivot Martin Hanzal (1a) centering the checking line.
Puck drop for USA vs. Czech Republic is slated for noon Wednesday and we'll carry the game live on WGR.