Victory in Hanover, elation in Prague as Czechs win hockey gold - again

14-05-2001

Czechs win Hockey World ChampionshipCzechs win Hockey World Championship Rob Cameron: So another fine achievement for Czech sport, Peter..

Peter Smith: Certainly was and we should just say that that result - the 3-2 in the final against Finland - makes the Czech Republic the first country to win three World Hockey Championships in a row since the Soviet Union won 5 back in the 70s. So it's quite an achievement. Also we must remember that they suffered no losses during the tournament, even though the structure of it is quite forgiving. You can lose a few games and still go onto win, but the Czechs didn't take advantage of that - they gave superb performances through the whole tournament. And the drama of the final really summed up everything about Czech hockey over the last couple of years.

RC: And not a good game for the Finns?

PS: Yes, it's the third time in four years that they have lost in the final. But a bit about the game... the Czechs were two-down, that was why it was so dramatic, because we really didn't expect it. They were two down going into the final period, but strikes from Martin Prochazka, Jiri Dopita and that dramatic extra time goal from David Moravec actually sealed the victory yet again for the Czechs.

RC: And who was the star of the show?

PS: I think the common consensus is Milan Hnilicka, the goaltender, who plays for Atlanta Thrashers in the NHL. He saved 49 shots during the match which is amazing - he was also named the Best Goaltender of the Tournament, so I think they really have him to thank for victory last night.

RC: And back on the streets of Prague mayhem and chaos presumably?

PS: Yes, certainly and we've seen these scenes quite a lot over the last few years of course, with the Olympics and the other World Championships.

RC: It's becoming a bit boring!

PS: Well... certainly not boring for some of the fans on the streets last night.

FANS:

Pepa: It's fantastic - when it was 2-0 to Finland we just couldn't believe it - we simply couldn't believe it... But we're the CHAMPIONS!!

Kuba: When we brought it back to 2-1 we opened the door again.. it is fantastic - it's unbelievable!

Jan: When we were losing 2-0, I didn't believe that we could do it - then we made it 2-1 and I believed that we would win...

Peter Smith: And many fans agreed that Czech goaltender Milan Hnilicka was the Man of the Match:

Eva: Of course Milan Hnilicka - he's simply great. I must say that after the second period I didn't think that we had a chance... Hnilicka is just the best!

Petra: Here is the best atmosphere - it's not worth going somewhere inside to sit down... it is better to stay outside and to celebrate with a crowd of people...

14-05-2001