Three second-period goals helped the United States advance to the quarterfinals, defeating Slovakia 5-1 Tuesday.
Ryan Donato scored twice, Troy Terry picked up three assists and Ryan Zapolski made 22 saves as the U.S. earned the right to face the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.
Jan Laco stopped 28 shots, and Peter Ceresnak scored, but Slovakia’s tournament came to an end with the loss. After an enormous upset in the opening game against the Olympic Athletes from Russia, Slovakia dropped its final three contests of the 2018 Winter Games.
Donato has been a sparkplug for the U.S. offense, scoring three goals in the first four games including the game’s first goal vs. Slovakia. No. 16 picked up a loose puck after Terry could not convert on a breakaway and rifled home a wrister over the glove of Laco at 1:36 of the second period.
Shortly after the goal, Slovakia committed two penalties as Ladislav Nagy crashed into Zapolski and Michal Cajkovsky delivered a vicious elbow to Donato. The Slovakian defenseman received a match penalty and a one-game suspension.
USA benefitted from the two-man advantage as James Wisniewski hammered a one-timer to double the lead. The 33-year-old does not play during even-strength situations but was put on the roster to help the power play with his potent right-handed slap shot.
Donato and Wisniewski’s goals came 44 seconds apart.
Mark Arcobello added a goal of his own when Troy Terry made a nifty move to slip a defender behind the net and found No. 26 cutting to an open area in the slot.
Garret Roe buried a feed from Broc Little at 9:52 of the final period to cement the victory for the U.S. The play started when Bobby Sanguinetti intercepted a pass in the defensive zone to start the offensive rush.
Donato added his second at 16:46 of third period, when the U.S. connected on the power-play once again. Wisniewski assisted on the play.
Jordan Greenway took an unnecessary retaliatory penalty late in the second period which set up Ceresnak’s power-play goal. It was the first time the U.S. allowed a goal while shorthanded in 10 opportunities.