When the first period ended scoreless, it was clear this was going to be an extremely interesting game.
And wow was it.
Let’s start with how in the first period, Czechia didn’t get a single shot on net. Meanwhile the US had 18. Almost the entire period was spent in the Czech’s defensive zone. Team USA dominated the play but Czech goaltender Klara Peslarova made stop after stop, while the Czech defenders disrupted passes and generally did not allow the US to set anything up.
About five minutes into the second period, Czechia struck first, scoring on just their second shot of the night. US had a massive defensive breakdown that left Michaela Pejzlova wide open in front of the net.
The CZE goal to open the scoring on their first shot on goal pic.twitter.com/zzaPW6xBAQ— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 11, 2022
The US didn’t take long to even the score as Hilary Knight evened the score 48 seconds later as a puck flipped up and over Peslarova.
A huge pain point for both teams was their power play struggles. Czechia came into the game with a single power play goal in 17 chances. The US wasn’t much better at 4-for-20.
Czechia had a huge opportunity to end the second period as US defender Dani Cameranesi was called for a 5 minute major with six minutes left in the period. They didn’t have a single shot on goal in those five minutes. In their nine minutes of power play time, they only recored a single shot.
The US’s power play wasn’t much better. They’ve struggled on the skater advantage all tournament and tonight was no different. They had five power plays tonight and only scored on one of them.
Team USA came out for the first looking much different than they had in the second period, and it showed in the sustained pressure on Peslarova and the Czech defenders and flurry of shots. The US’s pressure finally was too much.
Defender Lee Stecklein’s shot from the point hit a Czech’s stick and deflected perfectly into Peslarova’s five hole. It was another 10 minutes, spent largely in the Czech’s defensive zone, before Savannah Harmon added a third goal, all but sealing the game. Kendall Coyne Schofield
The US will move on to the semifinals to play either Finland or Japan, while that ends Czechia’s Olympic run.
US: Hilary Knight, Lee Stecklein, Savannah Harmon, Kendall Coyne Schofield
Czechia: Michaela Pejzlova
.@TeamUSA takes the lead!— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 11, 2022
Lee Stecklein deflects the puck into the back of the net and @usahockey is up 2-1 midway through the 3rd period! #WinterOlympics \\ #WatchWithUS
: @USA_Network & @peacockTV
: https://t.co/DaRR18atEa pic.twitter.com/GaNb3oXGe3