There has been a lot of hype surrounding Blues forward T.J. Oshie for his heroics in last Saturday’s preliminary game against Russia at the Sochi Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, he deserves all the credit he can get for his 4 for 6 shootout performance.
However, his NHL teammate, David Backes is putting together one of the better individual performances throughout the squad’s first four games. Backes scored a goal and added an assist in Team USA’s 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic. It was his third goal of the tournament. The win sets up a rematch of the 2010 Gold Medal game against Canada in the seminfinals on Friday.
James van Riemsdyk gave the Americans a 1-0 lead just 1:39 into the game with a shot that went in off of goalie Ondrej Pavelec from alongside the net. Ales Hemsky was credited with a goal less than three minutes after van Riemsdyk scored, after a clearing attempt by Ryan McDonagh in front of the U.S. net went in off of Ryan Suter’s skate.
Backes gave Team USA a 2-1 lead on a beautiful cross ice pass to linemate Dustin Brown, who literally buried a shot into the top of the net that became lodged in the webbing. Backes then scored with 1.8 seconds remaining in the first, after a shot from the point hit the end boards and came to Backes at the side of the net. His shot somehow squeezed in between the glove and right pad of Pavelec who was spread out on the ice.
Now Backes and the Americans get ready for their showdown with teammates and neighbors to the north.
“It’s going to be a repeat of the gold-medal game in Vancouver,” Backes said. “There’s not going to be any need for motivation.”