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5 things we learned from U.S. win over Czech Republic

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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The United States defeated the Czech Republic 5-2 to move on to the semifinal versus Canada. Here are five things we learned:

David Backes cannot be stopped. Minutes after the Czechs equalized in the first period, the St. Louis Blues captain created the second goal for the U.S. by himself. First, he rubbed out Jaromir Jagr along the boards to create a turnover, then sent a beautiful cross-ice pass to Dustin Brown to regain the lead. Not long after that, it was Backes with a tough angle to the side of Ondrej Pavelec, banking off the netminder’s glove and into the net. And he’s also saving stray dogs. Backes has been doing everything.

Ales Hemsky's suitors grow. The Edmonton Oilers forward scored the Czech's opening goal, almost had a second later in the first period before Ryan McDonagh swiped the puck away from the goal line, then eventually notched another late in the third period. The pending unrestricted free agent finishes the tournament with three goals and four points and likely a handful of new teams who would be interested in grabbing him at the NHL trade deadline.

• Everyone gets involved. Through their four games, 18 of the 19 American skaters who have played in all four games have a point. Paul Martin is the lone holdout on the stat sheet.

• Jonathan Quick just needs to be steady. Quick has not had to be what Ryan Miller was four years ago in Vancouver. His teammates have supplied him enough offense where, outside of the Russia game, he hasn't been needed to steal a game. Yet.

• Canada, U.S. no strangers when it matters. Friday's semifinal game between the two hockey powers (12 p.m. ET) will be the third time they've met in the medal round. The previous two came with a gold medal on the line, both times won by Canada.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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