The Czech Republic have reached the quarter-finals at the World Ice Hockey Championships in Russia. The Czechs secured the point they needed to go through after drawing with Canada in a game the Canadians won 4:3 in extra time. They will now face either Sweden or Russia for a place in the last four.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic come close to an embarrassing early exit from the World Ice Hockey Championships but scrape through by taking a point from Canada; motorcyclist Lukas Pesek is the first Czech ever to win a 125 cc Grand Prix race; things remain extremely tight at the top of the Czech football league, with a last-minute goal keeping Liberec in front; Sparta goalie Jaromir Blazek gets a dream move abroad at 34; and injuries force 2002 Olympic champion Ales Valenta to retire.
The Czech national squad was defeated by Slovakia in the 2nd round of the World Ice Hockey Championship in Russia on Saturday. The Czechs opened the scoring in the 1st period, but the Slovaks dominated play in the 2nd, scoring two goals. In the 3rd the Czechs managed to pull within one goal but were unable to tie the game. The loss is the second-straight for the Czech team which next faces Canada on Sunday in qualification for the playoff round.
The national ice hockey team coached by Alois Hadamczik and led by team captain David Vyborny faces an important match at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Moscow on Saturday evening. The Czechs, who finished top of their group in the first round, want to put qualifying for the quarter final playoffs back on track after suffering a surprising 2:0 upset at the hands of Germany earlier this week. On Saturday the Czechs will face former compatriots Slovakia. According to the Slovak press the game's outcome will depend on which team has the greater inner-strength and "heart".
In NHL playoff action Czech star forward Jaromir Jagr and his New York Rangers fell in a 2-1 overtime loss to Buffalo on Friday night. The Rangers got the potential go-ahead goal late in the third period from Czech Martin Straka, but Buffalo tied the game with less than 8 seconds left. The Sabres then managed to score early into the extra period, clinching the win. The loss for the Rangers leaves Jagr and co. on the brink, down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. Jagr described Friday's match as his toughest in five years; Game 6 will be played in New York.
The Detroit Red Wings - with Czech goalie Dominik Hasek - have lost their first match in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the San Jose Sharks. Facing 19 shots on Thursday night, Hasek was beaten twice in the first period. The Red Wings never got on board: netminder Evgeni Nabakov blanked all 34 of Detroit's attempts. Game 2 of the series takes place in Detroit on Saturday.
Ice hockey's Stanley Cup playoffs have been underway since early April with results leaving many Czech fans plenty to cheer about. Jaromir Jagr's New York Rangers, for instance, as well as Dominik Hasek's Red Wings have so far seen success. But in the Czech Republic the NHL playoffs aren't the only tournament worth watching: this Friday the Ice Hockey World Championship gets underway in Moscow and understandably many eyes will be on the Czech team.
In Sports News this week: Milan Baros says his alleged racist gesture to an opposing black player has been blown out of proportion, Liberec's footballers put pressure on Slavia and Sparta ahead of their eagerly awaited Prague derby on Monday, the Czech ladies' tennis team enjoy a resounding victory over Slovakia in the Fed Cup, and the Czech Republic's ice hockey players take third place in the Euro Hockey Tour ahead of this week's world championship.
The Czech Republic has made third place in the Euro Hockey Tour. The Czech team beat Finland 2:0 in Saturday's match in Prague's Sazka Arena. The tournament is an annual ice hockey event for teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. The competition mainly serves as preparation for the World Championships or Olympics, allowing less experienced players to collect valuable ice time in their national colours.
The New York Rangers - with star forward Jaromir Jagr - have become the first NHL team in this year's postseason to advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs. The Rangers defeated Atlanta 4:2 on Wednesday night, completing a four-game sweep. Jagr as well as fellow Czech Michal Rozsival contributed with a goal apiece on the night while Martin Straka tallied one assist. The last time the Rangers won a playoff series was in 1997.
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