World Cup of Hockey semi-finals: Canada 4 Czech Rep 3

12-09-2004

It took an extra period of overtime to decide a 3-3 hockey thriller between the Czech Republic and Team Canada on Saturday night, that saw Canada ultimately go through on a winner by forward Vincent Lecavalier. Both the Czechs and Canadians played well in a furiously-paced game that saw both teams earn excellent chances, including a mid-game break-away chance by Canadian legend Mario Lemieux, that was snuffed out by Czech goalie Tomas Vokoun.

In terms of overall shots the Czechs were dominant in the game, out-shooting Canada 40-24. However, Canada saw excellent form from Roberto Luongo, who had replaced an injured Martin Brodeur in net. And, it was Canada who took a dominant 2-0 lead in the second period. While the Czechs came back on goals by Petr Cajanek and Martin Havlat, Canada made it three in the third, to raise the bar again.

When Patrick Elias scored to make it even once more it would be the last Czech goal of the night, nevertheless, afterwards Czech team coach Vladimir Ruzicka said he was satisfied with his team's performance, saying the game had seen excellent play.

The highly touted semi-final between the Czechs and Team Canada lived up to expectations, and was reminiscent of the 1998 Olympics semi-final in Nagano, Japan, where it was the Czechs who just edged Canada in penalty shots.