Hockey club Vítkovice stopped opponents Slavia in their tracks on Friday, earning a spot in the Extraliga finals against Pardubice. Vítkovice outplayed Slavia Prague, winning by a score of 3:1 in a best-of-seven series that the club dominated, allowing Slavia only a single win. Vítkovice will now face Pardubice, who swept Liberec in their series, for the championship title. Pardubice won the playoffs back in 2005; this year, they are being buoyed by the legendary goalie Dominik Hašek in net.
In the NHL on Thursday Czech players David Krejčí a Vladimír Sobotka earned an assist each to boost the Boston Bruins’ chances of extending the season into the playoffs. Boston defeated Buffalo by a score of 3:1 and jumped three spots in the standings to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just ahead of the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers. The New York Rangers are currently below the cut-off, in ninth spot.
Czech hockey club Pardubice completed a 4:0 sweep of their series against Liberec on Thursday, earning a berth in the Extraliga playoff final. In the final game of the best-of-seven series, Pardubice won by a score of 4:1, with legendary hockey goalie Dominik Hašek in goal. In the other semifinal match-up Prague team Slavia will try to stave off elimination by Vitkovice in Game 5.
The ice hockey player Robert Reichel announced on Wednesday that he was going to end his career as a player. Next season, the 38-year-old triple world champion will train the Litvínov hockey team together with the team’s current trainer. Mr. Reichel said that while the decision did not come easy for him, he was looking forward to this new chapter of his career. The forward helped the Czech national hockey team win gold at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano in 1998.
In Sports News: Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych is downed by American Andy Roddick in the final of the Miami Masters but becomes the country’s No.1 ranked player; Hockey’s Slavia win a crucial Game 3 in their semi-final series against Vítkovice, while Pardubice take a 2-0 lead in their series against Liberec; in football Sparta tie with Plzeň to hold on to a slim lead atop the league standings; and in Champions League action Tomáš Rosicky’s Arsenal eke out a 2:2 draw against Barca.
In hockey action on Thursday Atlanta Thrashers Czech goalie Ondřej
Pavelec put in a solid game, blocking a total of 22 shots, including five
by Alexandr Ovechkin, but was unable to stop his team’s 2:1 loss to
Washington. Atlanta are fighting for a final playoff spot in the Eastern
In another game, Czech defenceman Roman Polák, who plays for St Louis, was quick to drop the gloves against Nashville forward Colin Wilson - in the Blues' goal crease. Wilson, hit several times, had the last word though, scoring once in a 3:2 turnaround against the Blues - a game they had led 2:0.
Vítkovice have completed the line-up for the semi-final playoffs in Czech
ice hockey’s Extraliga. The north Moravian club overcame Sparta Prague
3:1 at home on Monday evening to win the best-of-seven tie 4:3 on games.
That result sets up something of a grudge match against Slavia Prague in
the semis, with Vítkovice’s coach Alois Hadamczik not on good terms
his opposite number at Slavia, Vladimir Ruzicka. The other Extraliga
semi-final features Pardubice and Liberec.
Meanwhile, Marian Jelínek is to stay on as manager of Plzeň next season. The club came first in the Extraliga in the regular season, but were knocked out in the playoff quarter-finals.
In Sports News this Monday: there are upsets in the playoffs of ice hockey’s Extraliga, with the clubs who came first and second in the regular season both exiting in the quarter-finals for the first time ever; Sparta Prague pull ahead in the Czech soccer league with a 3:0 win over Brno; Vendula Frintová takes a top triathlon prize in Australia; and former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedvěd takes part in the Prague Half Marathon.
A play-off game of the top Czech hockey league was postponed on Wednesday after a fan in the audience died of heart attack. The 59-year-old man collapsed in the 5th minute of the quarterfinal best-of-seven game between Vítkovice and Sparta Prague; he died in the stadium despite resuscitation attempts by a doctor in the audience and by paramedics who arrived at the stadium. The man, who had a history of heart illness, was declared dead after more than 30 minutes. At the same time, Sparta Prague player Jakub Korejs was injured after hitting the sideboard and was taken to hospital with spinal injuries. The referees interrupted the play; both teams later agreed to finish the game on Thursday, and postpone the remaining games of the series by one day.
The ice hockey goaltender Tomáš Vokoun has said that he will play for the Czech Republic in May’s World Championship in Germany. Vokoun, who is 33, had previously said February’s Olympic Games in Vancouver would be his last international tournament. The goalie said he wanted to help coach Vladimír Růžička and the whole of Czech hockey. By contrast, forward Jiří Hudler, who was left out of the squad for Vancouver, has said he would turn down a call-up for the World Championship.
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