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Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork. Toronto Raptors Shirts .com) - James van Riemsdyk, Dustin Brown and David Backes tallied in a three-goal first period, as the United States put 32 years of frustration to rest and gained a spot in the semifinals thanks to a 5-2 decision over the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Zach Parise and Phil Kessel also lit the lamp for the Americans, who hadnt beaten the Czechs -- or its previous incarnation as Czechoslovakia -- in Olympic play since 1980 and will face Canada in a Friday semifinal. Ryan Suter added three assists to back a 21-save effort by Jonathan Quick. Ales Hemsky recorded both scores for the Czechs, who came up short in their quest to medal for the first time since taking bronze in Torino eight years prior. Starter Ondrej Pavelec was pulled early in the second period after yielding four goals on 12 shots. Alexander Salak finished up with 12 stops.Toronto Raptors Gear .Two San Francisco radio stations say they wont play the song during the duration of the World Series. A Kansas City, Missouri, station responded with plans to play the Grammy-winning track every hour from 7 a. Custom Toronto Raptors Jerseys . As TSN reported Thursday, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is under intense pressure from the federal government to focus drug testing on athletes who compete in international events representing Canada. Since funding for the tests has been frozen and the cost of testing can eclipse $1,000 per test, university athletes in a number of sports are being tested less often.DENVER - Its been four years since the Raptors had a representative in the All-Star Game. DeMar DeRozan, a 20-year-old rookie at the time, remembers it well. "I was here when Chris Bosh was the last guy to go," said DeRozan, now 24 in his fifth NBA season, less than two hours after receiving the news. A first-time All-Star, DeRozan got the nod Thursday evening when the NBA named the Raptors guard to the Eastern Conference squad as a reserve. "I work extremely hard every off-season to try and be the best player that I can be," he said proudly. "Just to be a part of All-Star Weekend is something you dream of. I remember being a kid watching All-Star Weekend and wishing to be a part of it. To see your dreams come true definitely means a lot." DeRozan, the fourth ever Raptor selected to the midseason showcase, which will take place in New Orleans on Feb. 16, was hardly surprised to find out his selection had been made official. He had expected it. The texts from family and friends started to come in as the Raptors plane landed in Denver, shortly after the announcement had been made live on TNT. Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden called to congratulate him, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, also an Eastern reserve, sent a text. The first call he made was to his fiancé and his infant daughter back in Toronto. "That was cool," he said of what had to be a special moment. Its a moment, an achievement that didnt come overnight. Hes put in the work and his growth as a player, a leader and as a man reflects that. "Hes worked at it [and] he deserves it," said Dwane Casey, who has coached DeRozan in three of his five seasons. "Every year Ive been here he has improved. He has brought something new back after every summer. Im so happy and proud of him as a young man watching him grow." DeRozan, the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, is 11th in the league in scoring, fourth in the East, and averaging career highs in points (21.8), rebounds (4.7) and assists (3.6). The Raptors iron man has missed the clubs previous two games with an ankle injury, but hes still only missed 10 contests in his career, with two full seasons under his belt. Since the trade of Rudy Gay, DeRozan has blossomed in his new role. DeRozan has recorded five or more assists in 12 of the 43 contests hes appeared in this season. He accomplished that feat 12 times all of last year and five times total in his first three seasons combined. He has already grabbed five or more rebounds 23 times this season, something he did in 19 games during the 2012-13 campaign. "Im so happy for him, man," said snubbed teammate Kyle Lowry. "It just shows the hard work that hes put in. Its great for our team, its great for the organization, its great for the city, its great for the country." Of course, the news wasnt entirely positive. Lowry, in the middle of a career season, was left off the All-Star rostter. Raptors Jerseys 2019. The 27-year-old point guard - widely considered to be the most notable name missing from the East team - stood in the lobby of the Raptors Denver hotel, looking ahead to his mid-Febrary vacation. He too was not surprised by the result of the voting and if he was disappointed by it, he didnt show it. "Im alright," said Lowry, averaging career-highs in points (16.8), assists (7.6) and three-point shooting (41 per cent) this season. "Ill be on a beach somewhere hanging out. Ill watch the All-Star game and cheer for (DeRozan)." Lowry is coming off of back-to-back 30-plus point games for the first time in his eight-year career, however both performances came after the coaches submitted their ballots for All-Star reserves on Sunday. Casey has spent the better part of the last month campaigning for both of his guards, hoping to get both voted in, but expecting to only get the one. Why was Lowry left out? Politics, most likely. He and DeRozan may have split votes from coaches who were only willing to vote for one Raptor. Coaches trying to get their own guy in - unable to vote for their own players, by rule - may have thrown their votes to others, less likely to make it. Then theres Lowrys reputation for being, well, prickly on occasion. However, the numbers speak for themselves, or at least they should have. Lowry leads the East in assists in January, averaging 8.3. Hes also hit more threes this month (49) than any player in the league, shooting them at a 46 per cent clip. Hes among the league-best in assist-to-turnover ratio and he has the second highest PER (player efficiency rating) of any guard in the conference. "I am disappointed for Kyle because he is playing like an All-Star," Casey said. "He is one of the best point guards in the league right now and hopefully this doesnt deter him from his continuing his journey to being the best in the league and proving people wrong." Instead, the Nets Joe Johnson made the cut. Johnson is averaging 15.7 points, his lowest mark since 2002-03, his second season in the league. Hes only the second All-Star voted in by the coaches with a below-average PER since 2003. "Im going to keep grinding no matter what, All-Star or not," Lowry said. "Im always going to work hard and continue to be the best player I can be to help my team win." "Honestly I didnt even worry about it," he continued. "We didnt get two, doesnt matter, we got one and thats a big statement for our team. [DeRozans] going to represent our team and hes going to represent us well." DeRozan joins Johnson, Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Wall, the Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks Paul Millsap on the East squad, along with starters LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Heat, Indianas Paul George, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving. ' ' '