Monday, February 14, 2011

3 Czech teams finish tournaments on Sunday

For the second time in three Euro Hockey Tour events this season, the Czech Republic has finished 0-3 and sit in last place in the tour's standings with 5 points, with a record of 1-1-0-6 on the 3-2-1-0 points scale. After dropping the opener against Sweden on Thursday night, they then lost 3-2 to Finland and 4-2 to Russia on Saturday and Sunday.

Although they dropped their first three games at the tournament in Hradec Králové they were hosting, the Czech U18 team made up for it in their fourth and final game against Russia with a 4-3 victory.

Michal Švihálek (#20) scores one of is two goals Sunday.
Photo: Stanislav Souček,
After Nikita Nesterov struck first for Russia, the Czechs scored three goals in a row, two from Michal Švihálek and one from Tomáš Kvapil to take a commanding 3-1 lead. The Russians battled back to tie the score before the end of the second, getting goals from Alexander Kadeykin and Vladimir Tkachev.

Early, in the third period, the Czechs found themselves with a five-on-three advantage, but failed to capitalize. Their best chance came when Petr Koblasa had a chance from point-blank range, but shot the puck directly into the chest of goaltender Oleg Dyatlov. However, halfway through the third period, Radek Faksa scored the winner, to the delight of the crowd.

The win means that the Czech Republic avoided the tournament basement with a 1-3 record, instead giving that honour to the Russians, who went 0-4. The USA won the tournament earlier in the day with a 7-4 win over Finland.

The Czech U16s also finished up against Russia on Sunday in Finland, and lost 6-2 to finish that four-team tournament with an 0-3 record.

On Saturday, the Czech U19s finished their tournament in Mannheim, Germany with a 2-2 record to finish third out of five teams. After winning their first two games against Finland and Germany, they lost to Sweden and Switzerland. They actually tied Switzerland in points with six, but lost the tie-breaker due to the head-to-head result.

After finishing a tournament in Russia on Thursday, the Czech U17 team is now set to compete in the World Youth Winter Olympic Festival in Liberec, and plays its first game against Slovakia on Tuesday at 18:00 CET (UTC +1). They then play Finland on Wednesday to conclude the three-team group stage. Semifinals and finals go Thursday and Friday. All hockey games in the competition are being played at Tipsport Arena.

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