United States vs. Czech Republic – Live Stream, Tips and Olympic Hockey Match Previe

Published on


The Czech Republic will hope to carry through their form from a round of 12 victory over Slovakia into the quarter-finals of the Men’s Olympic Hockey this evening when they take on Group A winners, the USA.

The game is scheduled to start at 17:00 GMT.

In the UK, the game airs live on BBC’s red button service, while live coverage is available online with bet365.

Get USA vs. Czech Republic coverage here:


This tournament has been heavily hit-or-miss for the Czechs, with highlights punctuated by their Tuesday win over longtime rival Slovakia. After three first-period goals paced them ahead, the win was seemingly never in doubt, and the Czechs looked confident Quarterfinalists. The Americans represent another beast entirely, and should prove an immense challenge for a shallow Czech squad.

Pacing the team to the Tuesday victory was veteran center Roman Cervenka, who had two goals, including the back-breaking 4-0 goal in the second. He currently features on the team’s top line, alongside captain Jaromir Jagr, who has been as solid as expected in the tournament. The Czechs have actually managed, thanks in large part to the chemistry between Cervenka and Jagr, to distribute scoring among two lines. Prominent center David Krejci currently sits on the second line, while veteran Tomas Plekanec patrols the third.

Goaltending was always going to be a questionable position for the Czechs, so the lukewarm play of Winnipeg Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec should come as no surprise to observers. Pavelec represents a respectable, but certainly not gamebreaking, goaltending presence for the Czechs, as demonstrated by his 29 save performance in the 5-3 victory on Tuesday. Whilst he isn’t going to single handedly win games for his team, it can safely be argued that he doesn’t single-handedly lose them either, and perhaps that’s all you can ask for when it comes to mid-tier goaltending. Still, against the potent American offense, it represents a potential problem.

The Americans cruised through the group stage, coming against a bump only in their epic second-game shootout win over the Russians. They are led by winger Phil Kessel, who is getting near-unanimous praise for his outstanding play to this point in the tournament.

As the second seed in the tournament, the Americans have demonstrated that they have built upon their silver medal successes in Vancouver 2010, utilizing many of the same key players to great success this year. Returnees like Phil Kessel, Ryan Kesler and Zach Parise have been their best players, and it is clear that the American top-6 has the depth and scoring aptitude to challenge any of the top-tier teams in the tournament. Kessel, in particular, has been an absolute beast, with 7 points (4-3) in his team’s three group stage games. He currently leads the tournament in scoring.

Los Angeles Kings man Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start for the Americans against the Czechs, in spite of the Olympic pedigree of backup Ryan Miller. Quick was stellar in the team’s first two games, allowing just 3 goals to skilled Slovak and Russian sides, and in spite of Miller’s experience at leading the Americans through the knockout stage, he seems a sure bet to start in net for the team. The only thing that may throw head coach Dan Bylsma for a loop is whether or not Quick could be rusty, having not played since Wednesday, but it’s difficult to imagine this being the case, considering it is an equal length to an expected rest during the NHL season.

Make no mistake about it: the Czechs are heavy underdogs here. They may be better than fellow Quarterfinalists Slovenia and Latvia, but against the Americans, they are a minnow.

In order to win, the Czechs will need their key players, guys like Jagr, Plekanec and Krejci, to have the games of their lives. Further, they will need to be able to rely upon Pavelec to give them better goaltending than he has, in both NHL and Olympic play, to this point in the year.

Though this perfect storm could manifest for the Czechs, it is far more likely that the Americans, on the back of their outstanding forward depth and world-beating goaltending, will simply prove too much for a mid-tier offense and poor defense/goaltending scheme to overcome.

Leigh Copson
Leigh is, without a doubt, the most over worked writer here at Crunch Sports. A statistician at heart, she can reel off Superbowl plays from decades ago. If we need a deep-dive into the numbers in any sport, we call Leigh first.

Popular Posts

Exit mobile version