U.S. dismisses Swiss to advance in men's hockeyThe U.S. defeats Switzerland 2-0 and will meet Finland in the Olympic men's hockey semifinals.
By: Ira Podell, Associated Press, Pine Journal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The longer it went, the tighter the Americans got.
They clanged shots off the post, then the crossbar. A wrist shot early in the game by Phil Kessel that looked like a bad omen hit both. Everything else the U.S. men’s hockey team threw on net Wednesday, Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller smothered.
But Zach Parise put all that frustration aside, deflecting a wrist shot from Brian Rafalski early in the third period, then scored into an empty net late to seal a 2-0 quarterfinal win that sends the U.S. to the next round against Finland, a 2-0 winner over the Czech Republic on Wednesday night.
“Relief and excitement, especially in a tight game like that when you are doing everything but score,” said Parise, who failed to score on his first 13 shots of the tournament. “The goalie was great and we did a good job of sticking with it. We were pretty confident and said just keep putting pucks at him.”
Ryan Miller made 19 saves to backstop the victory and move the Americans within two wins of its first men’s hockey gold medal in 30 years.
Hiller gave the Swiss a chance to pull off the upset by making 42 saves.
He had stymied Parise several times earlier, but couldn’t keep the New Jersey Devils star down all the way.
Parise, who struck posts with two other shots, scored 2:08 into the third. The goal came 12 seconds into a power play.
He then sealed the win by scoring into an empty net with 11.2 seconds left.