Winter Olympics 2014: USA preparing for quarterfinal vs. Czech Republic

Joe Pavelski scores vs. Russia in the preliminary round of the 2014 Olympics. - Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Former Badgers Joe Pavelski, Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Suter have played important roles for Team USA through the preliminary round.

After skating through pool play unbeaten, Team USA is preparing for the single elimination portion of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Americans earned a bye to the quarterfinals after regulation wins over Slovakia and Slovenia, and a shootout win over Russia in the preliminary round.

The U.S. men's squad draws the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast live on USA Network at 11 a.m.  CT Wednesday. The Czech Republic advanced to face Team USA by defeating Slovakia on Tuesday, 5-3.

Some familiar names have been leading the way for the U.S. squad through the first three games. Former Badger Joe Pavelski is tied for second on the club in points behind Madison, Wis., native Phil Kessel. Pavelski had a goal in the game vs. Russia and added three assists vs. Slovenia. Kessel has seven points in three games, which leads the entire tournament.

To no one's surprise, leading the way defensively for Team USA is a pair of former Badgers in Ryan Suter and Ryan McDonagh. Suter leads the U.S. squad in average time on ice with over 23 minutes a game, and McDonagh isn't far behind at 20 minutes per game through the preliminary round.

The fourth member of the Badgers' contingent in Sochi, Derek Stepan, was held scoreless in five minutes of ice time in his only game of the tournament vs. Slovenia.

If Team USA is able to get past the Czech's on Wednesday, it likely sets up a showdown with Canada in the semifinals on Friday.

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