Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Czechs win WJC opener over Norway

A couple of Czech teams began their post-Christmas tournaments abroad on Monday.

Jakub Osrava venutres into the Norway zone in the Czech
Republic's first game at the 2011 World Junior Championships.
Photo: Andre Ringuette, HHOF-IIHF Images.
The Czech national U20 team played its first game at the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, defeating Norway 2-0. Marek Mazanec of Plzeň 1929 stopped all 21 shots he faced and the offence was supplied by Tomáš Rachůnek, formerly of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the second period and Antonín Hanejsek of the Moose Jaw Warriors on a third-period penalty kill.

The competition will get a lot tougher for the Czechs from this point, however, beginning with Tuesday's encounter with Canada. The game will begin at 4pm in Buffalo, 10pm Central European Time. In addition to various television outlets, including TSN in Canada, the NHL Network in the United States, ČT4 Sport in the Czech Republic, and Eurosport 2 elsewhere in Europe, it can be seen streaming online at:


Sparta goaltender Tomáš Pöpperle thwarts a Servette
attempt in Spengler Cup action. Photo: spenglercup.ch.
Meanwhile, Sparta Praha played its first game at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, falling 4-3 to Servette Geneva. Sparta got goals from Tomáš Kůrka, Yorick Treille (who was playing against his former team), and Félicien DuBois, a pick-up who normally plays for the Kloten Flyers of the Swiss A League. DuBois' goal early in the third period gave Sparta a 3-2 lead, but Servette came back with goals from Josh Hennessy of Boston, MA and Paul Savary to win.

Today they play SKA St. Petersburg in the last game of the round-robin. On Sunday, St. Petersburg beat Servette 3-1, meaning a victory by three goals or more would earn Sparta an automatic berth in the semi-finals, otherwise they will play a quarter-final game on Thursday. If Sparta manages to finish second in the group, their quarter-final opponent would be Spartak Moscow, with Dominik Hašek in goal.

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