In Sports News this Monday: first place in Estonia’s Otepaa represents a double hat-trick for cross country skier Lukáš Bauer; Šárka Záhrobská admits to lacking “zest” after another off-the-pace finish in the slalom World Cup; Czech ice hockey captain Patrik Eliáš is knocked unconscious during an NHL game; and Czech men’s number one Radek Štěpánek exits the Australian Open in the first round.
Czech ice hockey star Patrik Eliáš is undergoing further tests after he had to be stretchered from Saturday’s National Hockey League game for the New Jersey Devils. Eliáš remained on the ice for around five minutes after a hard hit in the second period and was apparently temporarily unconscious. A hospital examination showed no serious injury but the Devils’ manager said further tests would be carried out with the likelihood that Eliáš will have to take a pause from the sport. Eliáš was named captain of the Czech team to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver at the end of last year.
Czech goalie Tomáš Vokoun – the starter in goal for the Czech squad in Vancouver – was named the top player in an NHL game between Florida and Tampa Bay on Thursday. Vokoun, who plays for Florida, allowed two goals but stopped 28 shots, including a penalty in the 56th minute, to help Florida defeat Tampa 3:2. The winning goal was scored by another Czech player, Rostislav Olesz.
In hockey, NHL goalie Tomáš Vokoun earned his 4th shutout of the season
on Saturday, allowing Florida to beat Ottawa by three unanswered goals.
Vokoun, who has been nominated to the Czech Olympic hockey team as its
starting goalie, stopped a total of 24 shots. All the same, he was not
named the first star in Saturday’s match: that honour went to fellow
Czech Rostislav Olesz who scored two goals - both in the 2nd period.
In other action, it was a poor night for Atlanta goalie Ondřej Pavelec against Washington. He was pulled after allowing four goals in 24 minutes. Washington won the game by a final score of 8:1. In net for Washington was another Czech, Michal Neuvirth, who blocked 38 out of 39 shots.
In Sports News: former world champion Šárka Záhrobská comes fifth in a slalom World Cup event in Zagreb; Lukáš Bauer does well in the Tour de Ski’s 15 km classic, but is left frustrated after an unusually poor showing in the sprint; and Czech driver Tomáš Tomeček is forced to pull out of the Dakar Rally after his Tatra truck crashes in the opening stage.
Patrik Eliáš notched up three assists as his club New Jersey Devils beat Minnesota Wild 5:3 in an NHL game on Saturday. Eliáš, who will captain the Czech ice hockey team at the Winter Olympics next month, was voted second most valuable player after Jamie Langenbrunner, who scored a hat-trick for New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic beat Austria 7:1 at ice hockey’s World Under 20 Championship in Canada on Tuesday. However, after defeats to Sweden and Finland in their opening two matches, the Czechs’ chances of advancing in the competition are slim. They now need to beat Russia in their last group game, and hope that other results go their way.
Coach Vladimír Růžička has announced the Czech ice hockey squad for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February. Among the 23 players called up are seven based in Europe. Jaromír Jágr, who plays in the Russian league, is the only player remaining from the Czech team that won the Olympics in Nagano, Japan in 1998. There has been some surprise at the omission of the likes of Jaroslav Špaček, Václav Prospal, Jiří Hudler and Milan Hajduk.
The Czech Republic lost 3:2 to Finland in its second game of the U20 Hockey World Championship in Canada on Sunday. The Czechs built up a lead of 3:0, but the Finns came back in the third period, scoring the winning goal just two minutes before the end of the game. This is the Czech team’s second defeat meaning it will now have to beat both outsider Austria and favoured Russia in order to be able to advance to the event’s quarterfinals.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs get off to a very poor start at the ice hockey Under 20 World Championship in Canada, being hammered by Sweden and squandering a three-goal lead against Finland; anticipation mounts ahead of the announcement of the Czech hockey squad for the Winter Olympics; and Slavia Prague have now lost eight games out of 10 in the Czech Extraliga.
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