SOCHI — The Czech Republic dumped its neighbor Slovakia out of the Sochi Olympic hockey tournament with a 5-3 victory to set up a quarterfinal against the U.S.
Two goals from SKA St. Petersburg forward Roman Cervenka and one apiece from Ales Hemsky and David Krejci had the Czechs four up in Tuesday's game, before the Slovaks rallied with a Marian Hossa goal at the end of the second period.
A second goal by Hossa on 47:20 in the third gave Slovakia belief that the comeback was really on, and when Tomas Surovy made it 4-3 with 11 minutes remaining the Shayba arena roared at the thrilling climax in store. But it was the Czechs who went onto score, Tomas Plekanec doing the honors with 39 seconds left on the clock.
The last time the Czechs met the U.S. at the Olympics was on the way to gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, doling out a 4-2 defeat at the same quarterfinal stage.
In the other playoff games Tuesday, Slovenia beat Austria 4-0 to set up a quarterfinal with Sweden; and Russia will play Finland after limping past Norway in an uninspiring 4-0 win. Latvia beat Switzerland 3-0, and will face reigning champion Canada in the next round.