Noah Cates (Minnesota Duluth) opened the scoring, Josh Norris (Michigan) netted the eventual game winner and Sasha Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s) sealed the game with an empty-net goal as the U.S. National Junior Team beat the Czech Republic 3-1 in its quarterfinal contest of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Wednesday night in Victoria, B.C.
Cayden Primeau (Northeastern) finished with 18 saves in net for the Americans.
With the win, the U.S. will meet the winner of the Russia-Slovakia game on Friday. Puck drop for that game will be 3 p.m. EST at Rogers Arena.
“We knew if we put together a good 60 minutes of hockey that we’d be able to get the job done and our team was rewarded with a hard-fought victory here tonight,” said Team USA coach Mike Hastings (Minnesota State) in a statement. “We keep saying this process is about continuing to take steps and that’s the opportunity we’ve given ourselves. We’re on to the next round and have the chance to continue writing our own history. We’ll enjoy this tonight, but come tomorrow our focus turns towards the semifinal.”
This is the fourth consecutive year the U.S. has advanced to the semifinal round after advancing to win gold in 2017 and bronze in 2016 and 2018.