Defending champions Eaton Pardubice knocked out Zlín in the playoff quarterfinals after they won 6:2 on Tuesday, scoring their fourth victory in the best-of -seven series, and their 16th consecutive win. The game was tied until the end of the second period when the hosts went ahead 4:2. With four minutes left of the match, Zlín played with an empty net but Pardubice added two more goals to knock out Zlín which ranked fourth after the regular season. Pardubice are the first club to advance to the semis; in the other quarterfinal games, Vítkovíce lead 2:1 over České Budějovice, regular season winners Třinec are tied with Litvínov and Slavia Prague with Liberec.
In Sports News this week: the Czech Republic goes down in defeat at the tennis Davis Cup; Czechs bring home two golds, a silver and a bronze from the European indoor championships; in hockey, the season’s playoff-offs quarterfinals continue; and in football, Sparta narrow the gap behind league leaders Plzeň.
The playoffs of the Czech hockey extraliga began on Thursday with two quarterfinal series – and victories for the visiting sides. Vítkovice, which ranked third in the regular season, beat České Budějovice 3:1, while defending champions Pardubice took the game against Zlín to overtime and eventually won 3:4. The two quarterfinal best-of-seven series continue on Friday while on Saturday, Litvínov will face the winner of the regular season, Třinec, and Liberec will play Slavia Prague.
Czech hockey player Karel Rachůnek, of Russia’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, was named on Tuesday the best defender of the Kontinental Hockey League. The highest-scoring defenseman in the league scored six goals and earned three assists in February. The 31-year-old Rachůnek, who joined Yaroslavl last year after a stint in Dynamo Moscow, has 46 points this season.
In Sports News: Tennis player Tomáš Berdych will return for the Czech Republic’s opening Davis Cup round against Kazakhstan; in hockey, Plzeň lose their best-of-five preliminary round playoff series against Litvínov, while Karlovy Vary force a decider against Slavia; the spring season opens in football with Jablonec’s David Lafata scoring a hat-trick against Liberec; in the English Premier League, Birmingham – with Czech defender Jiránek – triumph over Arsenal to win the Carling Cup.
In Sports News: speed skater Martina Sáblíková breaks her own world record in the women’s 5,000 metres; for first time in four efforts Záhrobská fails to win medal in Alpine World Cup Skiing Championships; Czech hockey clubs gear up for the playoffs; in the NHL, hockey forward Patrik Eliáš racks up milestone 800 pts; football’s Skácel scores 9th goal of season for Edinburgh; Petr Čech’s Chelsea are knocked out of FA Cup.
Czech hockey forward Aleš Hemský scored twice for Edmonton on Thursday in the Oilers’ match up against the Montreal Canadiens. The players scored the opening goal of the game on a wrist shot and also scored the game’s last, an empty net goal with less than a minute remaining. The Habs managed only one goal on the night, with Roman Hamrlík earning an assist. The final score was 4:1.
The Czech national hockey team was able to clinch only one point in the Euro Hockey Tour in Sweden, finishing last. After losing heavily to Sweden, then to Finland in overtime, the Czechs also lost their final match against Russia. The score was 4:2. Both the team’s captain, as well as the coach, expressed deep disappointment over the team’s overall play in the tournament.
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