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Men's hockey after 2: U.S. 3, Switzerland 0

February 16, 2010 |  1:32 pm

Backes Another good, hard, physical period here at Canada Hockey Place, and the U.S. seemed to gather strength. David Backes of the St. Louis Blues scored a terrific, end-to-end goal for a 2-0 U.S. lead at 5:52, and Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning made it 3-0 after Ryan Suter had taken a shot from the blue line.

The U.S. out-shot Switzerland, 14-4, in the second period for a 22-9 edge.

It's not that the Swiss are bad: In addition to the Ducks' Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller, they have an NHL regular in defenseman Mark Streit of the New York Islanders and a couple of other players who have played in the NHL this season, including defenseman Luca Sbisa -- who started the season with the Ducks before being sent back to junior hockey -- and defenseman Yannick Weber, who has played for the Montreal Canadiens.

The U.S. team is simply playing forcefully and with good speed. Goalie Ryan Miller has rarely had to face rebounds and is getting a good amount of protection from his defensemen.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports

-- Helene Elliott, in Vancouver

Photo: U.S. forward David Backes, top, scores on Swiss goalie Jonas Hiller in the second period on Tuesday. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press