USA Rolls Into Semis With 2-0 Victory Over Swiss

(above) DU Alum Paul Stastny is the center on the top USA line

From: Denver Post
by Mark Kizla

As Avalanche star Paul Stastny has discovered the hard way, it's not always easy being the No. 1 center on the top-seeded team in the Olympic tournament, where all eyes in the hockey world are watching you.

After surviving an elimination game Wednesday afternoon with a 2-0 victory against Switzerland, one question dogged the Americans, despite the fact they remain undefeated in four games: Does Team USA have the firepower to claim the nation's first gold medal in hockey since 1980?

U.S. coach Ron Wilson has heard the criticism. And it makes him cranky.

"If you said at the beginning of the tournament that we'd be 4-0 and the No. 1 seed, everybody would say, 'You're on crack or something." Wilson said. "Yet here we are, getting the job done, and we're looking at everything that's wrong with our team."

Stastny made a pass that helped set up the game-winning goal, scored early in the third period by Zach Parise on a power play.

The assist by Stastny was his first point of the tournament. With a possible return match looming against Canada, which has erupted for 15 goals in two contests since being upset by the Americans in pool play, the top U.S. scoring line of Jamie Langenbrunner, Parise and Stastny needs to become more of a threat.

Although the Americans constantly forced the action, they had trouble breaking through against goalie Jonas Hiller, who kept Switzerland hanging around despite being outshot 44-19.

How difficult has it been for the top U.S. line to mesh?

"It's tough. It's not always the three best players who are going to make the best scoring line. That's just not the way it is. You need guys who are willing to do different things on a line, a guy who is willing to get in the corner and get the puck. Three fancy guys don't always get it done," said Parise, who scored an empty-net goal that finally allowed Team USA to relax with 12 seconds remaining in the third period.


Anonymous said...

So the big question is can these guys win a rematch with the Canucks?

achsdu17 said...

I think they can. Ya know what the US did that Russia couldn't... play defense. Last night Canada capitalized on tons of odd man rushes and turnovers.

Anonymous said...

Russia was horrible yesterday. those guys should be embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

What the hell happened to our ladies team?? Shut out in the gold mdeal game???