Olympic hockey in the preliminary rounds of the Sochi Games has seemed oddly physical — more than you'd expect from guys who still have to report back to their NHL clubs this month.

Team USA players say the games are physically intense because that's what they want.

Forward Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings says the U.S. is running a system that is designed for more physical play, to allow the team to be more aggressive in certain situations.

"We have layers — you beat one guy and there's another guy in your face," Brown said. "The support is really there and really working well right now."

Brown said his team, which earned a spot in the quarterfinals after winning three games in preliminary play, has developed into a hard-nosed team with players diving in front of shots and frustrating their opponents.

"That's a part of the game here in a short-term tournament, is imposing your will on other players and other teams," Brown said. "It can have a lasting effect not only on the team you're playing but on the other teams that you're preparing to play."

— By Oskar Garcia — Twitter http://twitter.com/oskargarcia


Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu