Friday, March 11, 2011

Slavia and Litvínov succeed at home

The two survivors of the play-in round, Slavia Praha and Benzina Litvínov, opened their quarterfinal series on the road with limited success. While Slavia managed a split in Liberec, Litvínov fell into an 0-2 hole in Třinec. On Wednesday and Thursday, both won games 3 and 4 on home ice.

It's been a tough week for Liberec's Petr Nedvěd. Photo: Pavel
For Slavia, the two wins put them in the enviable position of leading 3-1, needing only a single victory to advance to the semis. For Bílí Tygři Liberec, they now must win three in a row to avoid elimination. The presence of captain Petr Nedvěd in the lineup didn't help them in Prague, as the home side took 5-2 and 4-3 victories. Nedvěd was considered doubtful for game 3 after he took a knee late in the second game from Slavia's Jiří Doležal. However, he played and picked up a point in each game, but he also turned over the puck on a power-play in game 4, which led to a Michal Vondrka's short-handed goal late in the first, which gave Slavia a 3-1 lead.

"That was me, definitely my fault," the veteran of 14 NHL seasons told Václav Jachím of "I tried to play the puck, but it jumped over my stick."

To add injury to injury, Nedvěd also had his cheek cut open by the errant stick of Doležal, freshly back from his one-game suspension, in the first period. Despite their situation, Nedvěd, who won a silver medal with Canada at the 1994 Olympics, still thinks his team has a reasonable shot to advance.

"We can't look ahead too far. If we had it in our heads that we need to win three times, it would be very difficult. We only need to think about the next game, preferably only the first period."

As for Benzina Litvínov, their two victories on home ice have given the series with Oceláři Třinec a whole new look. They won 5-3 on Wednesday and 4-2 on Thursday. The teams will return to Třinec for game 5 on Saturday before returning to Litvínov for a sixth game on Monday.

Saturday's game, which starts at 18:10, will be televised by ČT4, to be joined in progress at 19:30. However, the game will be available in its entirety online at Presumably, Monday's game will be as well if Slavia finishes off Liberec on Saturday. If not, the sixth game of that series will be shown. Additionally, most games can be viewed online at

From, here is the schedule for the remainder of the quarterfinal round (all times Central European - UTC+1):

Friday, March 11 - 5th game:
18:10 HC Vítkovice Steel - HC Mountfield České Budějovice (ČT4 Sport)  

Saturday, March 12 - 5th games:
18:10 HC Oceláři Třinec - HC Benzina Litvínov (ČT4 Sport, JIP @ 19:30)
18:30 Bílí Tygři Liberec - HC Slavia Praha

Sunday, March 13 - 6th game:
18:10 HC Mountfield České Budějovice - HC Vítkovice Steel (ČT4 Sport)

Monday, March 14 - 6th games:
17:30 HC Benzina Litvínov - HC Oceláři Třinec
18:15 HC Slavia Praha - Bílí Tygři Liberec (if necessary)

Tuesday, March 15 - 7th game:
17:30 HC Vítkovice Steel - HC Mountfield České Budějovice (if necessary)

Wednesday, March 16 - 7th games:
17:00 HC Oceláři Třinec - HC Benzina Litvínov (if necessary)
18:30 Bílí Tygři Liberec - HC Slavia Praha (if necessary)

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