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Team USA takes down Swiss, sets up quarterfinal rematch with Finland

By Brian Stubits | Hockey writer

Team USA finished its round-robin schedule at the Hockey World Championships with a 5-2 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. The win means that the U.S. clinches the second seed in its pool and will face Finland on Thursday.

The U.S. ended up going 6-1 in the round-robin stage, the best it has done at the Worlds since ... are you ready for this?

The game started very sluggishly for the United States, playing the Swiss to a scoreless first period and then giving up the first goal in the opening minute of the second. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having flashbacks of the Kazakhstan game again, one that the U.S. struggled in before winning in overtime against an inferior squad.

Then the Americans woke up and pulled away for the win. Max Pacioretty, who is having an exceptional tournament for the U.S., had two assists. That brings his point total to 12 in seven games (2-10=12). The first one was to Bobby Ryan, who kicked the pass to his skates and finished the goal, a sure beauty.

Ryan, Justin Faulk and Paul Stastny talked about the performance after the game and were pleased, as they should be.

Now the Americans get the Finns, a team they spanked 5-0 earlier this week. You have to believe that after having their rear ends handed to them in their own country, they will be looking for some payback on the Americans. But if the Americans win, they will reach the semifinals. Remember, the U.S. has medaled only once since 1996 -- a bronze in 2004.

That quarterfinal matchup with Finland will come on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET. The game will be shown live on NBC Sports Network.

In fact, all of the quarterfinal games will be shown live in the States, starting with Canada-Slovakia at 6 ET. Russia will face Norway at 8:45 ET and Sweden will draw the Czech Republic at 1:15 ET.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
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