Their 5-1 victory gives them plenty of momentum heading into the game against Czech Republic.
If the Americans had won either of their next two games, they would have earned the first U.S. Olympic hockey medal since the Miracle on Ice.
Donato's first strike came early in the second period to put the Americans on the board.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) - Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout victor as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
Winless in Pyeongchang before Tuesday, Norway overcame a one-goal deficit to force the sudden-death period and went on to register their first Olympic hockey win since they hosted the Games in 1994.
"I came here with the intentions that he was not going to be able to come here", Ryan said.
Donato and Zapolski took blows to the head, stayed in the game and were two of the biggest reasons the United States beat Slovakia 5-1 yesterday in the qualification round to move on to face the Czech Republic today.
Ted Donato, a former Boston Bruin player and now the coach at Harvard, had four goals and three assists in 1992 at the Games in Albertville, France and had just arrived in Pyeongchang with Tuesday's game being the first he had seen in person.
On the next play, he set the screen on James Wisniewski's 5-on-3 power-play goal in a game that helped the US get its offensive groove back.
About 30 seconds later, in a reckless exchange, Slovakia drew two penalties, one for goalkeeper interference and another for checking to the head and neck area when Michal Cajkovsky hit Donato high.
"It always comes down to the smallest plays and I think at the end of the day you've got to be able to capitalize on those plays to win a game", said Donato, who scored his fifth goal of the tournament in regulation. Little-known Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz did his best impression of legendary countryman Dominik Hasek by stopping Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler in the shootout, sending the Czechs on to the semifinals on Friday - and sending the Americans home. As top-seeded Sweden, the Russians and Canada wait for the other winners, the Czech Republic is up next for the US.
Like this year's team, Ted played at an Olympics without National Hockey League participation.
"There's some different weapons that we'll have to be aware of", Granato said.
Jordan Greenway and Donate are needed to execute their best in the tonight's game against Slovakia. Ilya Kovalchuk delivered the big blow, scoring with 0.2 seconds remaining before intermission that increased Team USA's deficit to 3-0.