U.S. women's hockey team outlasts Czech Republic in quarterfinals at Beijing Olympics

The U.S. survived a scare against the Czech Republic in the Beijing Olympics women's ice hockey tournament quarterfinals, finally pulling away to win 4-1 on Friday.

The Americans outshot the Czech team 59-6, but the score was tied entering the third period thanks to outstanding goaltending from Klara Peslarova, who had 56 saves. This was the first Olympic tournament for the Czech Republic.

The U.S. took the lead 6:49 into the third period on a tough break for Peslarova. As the Americans buzzed the attacking zone, Peslarova lost her stick. Then, as the U.S. controlled the puck, the strap on Peslarova's mask came loose. She tried to signal to the referee for a stoppage, but play continued. Defender Lee Stecklein sent a shot off the stick of Czech forward Michaela Pejzlova and into the net to give the U.S. the lead, allowing them to exhale a bit.

The Czech Republic gave the Americans all they could handle. The Americans outshot them 18-0 in the opening period of their quarterfinal matchup. However, the U.S. was unable to put a puck past Peslarova and the period ended 0-0.

The Czech Republic scored on its first shot on net in the game, 4:59 into the second period, as Pejzlova took advantage of a breakdown by the U.S. defense deep in its zone for the 1-0 lead.

But that advantage was short-lived, as Knight scored 48 seconds later on a drive to the net to tie the score. Knight tied Cammi Granato for fourth all-time in women's Olympic tournament goals for the U.S. (10) and with Katie King in all-time goals (23).

The U.S. had to kill off a five-minute major boarding penalty on forward Dani Cameranesi for a hit on defender Tereza Radova 13:46 into the second period. It was initially signaled as a minor penalty but elevated to a major after a referees' video review.

The tension continued into the third period before Stecklein's goal. The U.S. clinched the win on a power-play goal by defender Savannah Harmon, a boon to a struggling unit that was 4-for-23 before that.

That said, the U.S. power play looked like a juggernaut compared to the Czech Republic, which went 0-for-21 in the tournament.

Kendall Coyne Schofield added an empty-netter for the final margin.