United States trounces Slovakia to secure spot in quarterfinals against Czech Republic

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Ryan Donato scored twice to help the United States ease to a 5-1 win over Slovakia on Tuesday and book a spot in the men's Olympic ice hockey quarter-finals.

"All the college kids have been huge for us", Zapolski, who plies his trade in Finland, told ESPN.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) - Ryan Zapolski was more anxious about losing the sensation in his hands and feet than carrying the pressure of the United States' Olympic medal hopes on his shoulders.

The game was scoreless until Ryan Donato and James Wisniewski scored 44 seconds apart in the first 2 ½ minutes of the second period.

"He hit my head and pinched my neck", said Zapolski.

"My hands and feet went numb a little bit", Zapolski said.

"I thought I've had a good tournament the whole time", Terry said. "A little bit of a stinger".

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Slovakia responded 26 seconds later with a body-slamming retaliation sequence as Michal Cajkovsky was sent off for 25 minutes for a blow to Donato's head at the same time Ladislav Nagy was whistled for flattening USA goaltender Ryan Zapolski. In the NCAA overall, Donato is fourth in goals and eighth in points per game.

"We came in with the intention of being confident, not just being anxious about going home", said Donato. "If he's a good-luck charm, and we keep on winning, he might have to stay".

"I won't call them doubters but we've had people who were pretty skeptical of the team".

Ryan's two goals Tuesday gave him four for the tournament, matching Ted's total from Albertville.

On the ensuing two-man advantage, USA defenseman James Wisniewski scored from the left circle with a low slap shot, his trademark talent and the main reason why coach Tony Granato had slotted the ex-NHL player onto the US team.

Terry showed he can thrive on the big stage and overall it was a breakout performance by a team that needed one. Fearing it was broken, Donato didn't miss a shift and set the screen on Wisniewski's goal. "Donato can really shoot it, as you saw tonight and in a couple games before. So I was just trying to keep my confidence and know that I just have to play the same way".

College kids again led the way for the US, which scored more against Slovakia then it did in all three preliminary-round games. Zapolski didn't have any flashbacks to blowing a two-goal lead in an overtime loss to Slovenia, and there was enough offense to make sure that didn't happen. Troy Terry of Denver University added three assists playing on a line with Donato and former NHLer Mark Arcobello. "So we have a lot of belief in our team and we're excited to keep going".

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Johannson and Granato wanted to bring three to seven college players and hoped they would be this good.

Before the USA can harbour any dreams of revenge against its North American neighbors, however, it must focus on the upcoming clash against the Czechs on Wednesday.

"There's some different weapons that we'll have to be aware of", Granato said.

"It doesn't matter what the other team does, we have to attack and get in on the forecheck and use our offensive players that we do have and the skill set that we do have", Granato said. Norway will face the Russians in its first Olympic quarterfinal appearance, while Slovenia played without Ziga Jeglic, who was suspended for doping.

Ted coached Harvard to a 5-2 win on senior night on Saturday, then took the first flight out Sunday morning, arriving in South Korea on Monday night.

- Germany played Switzerland, with the victor advancing to play top-seeded Sweden.

Slovakia goaltender Jan Laco allowed five goals on 33 shots and Peter Ceresnak scored a power-play goal for Slovakia, which became the first team eliminated from the men's side. Veteran forward Jim Slater returned to the lineup, replacing Chad Kolarik.

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