David Krejci and the Czech Republic defeated Zdeno Chara and Slovakia in a qualification playoff on Monday, 5-3. As a result, the Czech’s punched a ticket to the quarterfinal round while Slovakia is eliminated from medal contention.
Krejci notched his first goal at the Sochi Winter Olympics in the victory. He blasted home a first-period power play marker in the win. He was assisted on the goal by former Boston Bruins teammate Thomas Kaberle. The goal gave the Czechs a commanding 3-0 lead at the time.
In defeat, Slovakia dropped to a woeful 0-4 in tournament play.
The United States awaits Krejci and the Czechs in the quarterfinal round in a do or die showdown. The two countries will clash on Tuesday at Shayba Arena. The U.S., who earned a bye into the quarterfinals, are heavily favorited to win.
After barely sneaking by in group play and narrowly escaping Slovakia, the Czechs will have their hands full with a loaded U.S. team that is firing on all cylinders. Keep in mind the U.S. torched Slovakia, the Czech’s last opponent, 7-1 in group play.
Although Krejci won’t be the only member of the black-and-gold in action on Tuesday. Two other Bruins will be seeking victories. Patrice Bergeron is one of them.
Bergeron and Canada will joust with Latvia. Canada, like the United States, earned a bye into the quarterfinals. Latvia by no means has the needed firepower to run with Canada.
Both the United States and Canada will be playing at the same time, 12 p.m. eastern standard time.
Sweden will oppose Slovenia and the host nation Russia will take on Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask and Finland. Rask will have his handful against a Russian team that boasts an arsenal of offensive juggernauts.
Winners in this quarterfinal round will advance to participate in the semi-final round on Thursday.