Kessel Powers U.S. Men’s Hockey Team to Quarterfinals

by Jesse Andreozzi 2-16-13

© Sean M. Haffey/ZUMA Press/Corbis

© Sean M. Haffey/ZUMA Press/Corbis

This time it’s not a miracle.

Forget Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, or Pavel Datsyuk. The hottest player in the 2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey Tournament is none other than Madison, Wisconsin’s own Phil Kessel. His hat trick lifted team USA to a 5-1 win over Slovenia on Sunday, and he has four goals and seven points overall as the team enjoys a bye into the quarterfinals.Claiming a perfect 3-0 record, Team U.S.A. enters the quarterfinals as the number two seed in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a 14-4 margin. Head coach Dan Bylsma hasn’t decided whether Ryan Miller or Jonathan Quick will get the start in goal for the semifinals on Wednesday, where the team will face the winner of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

As long as Kessel continues his hot streak, and the defense remains strong, Team U.S.A. should have no problem advancing to the semifinals. If they do, they will face Team Canada in a highly anticipated