Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, but before that the University of North Dakota, scored two goals in the third period, on a power play early and into an empty net late, as the United States survived a scary Olympic men's hockey quarterfinal with a 2-0 victory against Switzerland.
After the first two periods were scoreless, despite a 32-8 U.S. advantage in shots on goal, Parise struck first at 2:08 into the third period, chipping the puck past Swiss goaltender Jonas Hiller for a 1-0 lead. It could have been 1-1 later, but a Swiss shot past U.S. goalie Ryan Miller bounced off the inside of the right goalpost without crossing the line.
Miller finished with 19 saves, 11 in the third period, but Hiller was even better with 42 saves. He was pulled inside the final two minutes, and Parise's second goal came with 12 seconds remaining.
This puts Team USA into the semifinals Friday against the winner of Finland-Czech Republic, to be played tonight.
Back before the 2010 Winter Olympics began, U.S. hockey people were worried about the men's Team USA having to play its first game against Switzerland, though the Americans set that concern aside with a convincing 3-1 win.
But now it was the Olympic quarterfinals, with Team USA facing, that's right, Switzerland. And after two periods the score was still 0-0, with an apparent goal by Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks disallowed because it crossed the line just a fraction of a second too late at the end of the second.
With a huge crowd of 19,000-plus in Canada Hockey Center screaming for Switzerland, Hiller kept his team in it by stopping 32 shots through 40 minutes of hockey. Also, the Swiss did a great job of killing off three U.S. power plays in the middle period.
Canada faces Russia at 5:30 p.m. Mountain time today in the next quarterfinal.