Icy hot! US advances to women's ice hockey Olympic semis

Beijing, China - The US women's team will advance in their fight for an ice hockey medal at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games after surviving a mighty scare to eventually down the Czech Republic 4-1 in the quarterfinals.

Natalie Mlynkova of the Czech Republic and Hannah Brandt of the United States (r.) fight for the puck during the women's Olympic ice hockey quarterfinals on Friday at the Wukesong Sports Center.
Natalie Mlynkova of the Czech Republic and Hannah Brandt of the United States (r.) fight for the puck during the women's Olympic ice hockey quarterfinals on Friday at the Wukesong Sports Center.  © Collage: IMAGO/Xinhua & ZUMA Wire

The US women’s team rose up just in time on Friday, and in doing so, have advanced their dreams of Olympic gold on the rink.

"It is frustrating when the puck just won't go in and their goalie is playing great," said Lee Steckelin of the US, who was credited with the game winning goal. "But you can't let that get to you."

The Czechs survived the first period goalless and took a shock lead through Michaela Pejzlova in the second, only for Hilary Knight to level 48 seconds later.

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Steckelin then made the breakthrough just under seven minutes into the third period when a double-screened shot evaded Czech goalie Klara Peslarova, who made an outstanding 55 saves during the game. By comparison, the Czechs had only six shots on goal.

Savannah Harmon later made the tie safe with a power play goal and Kendall Coyne Schofield added some gloss to the scoreline with an empty netter.

Canada takes on Sweden in the second quarterfinal later Friday. On Monday, The US will take on the winner of Finland v Japan, which plays on Saturday. The other last eight tie is the Russian Olympic Committee v Switzerland.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/Xinhua & ZUMA Wire

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