In Sports News: Martina Sáblíková is crowned the women’s European Speed Skating Champion for 2011; cross-country skier Lukáš Bauer clinches the bronze medal in this year’s Tour de Ski; Zdeněk Štybar wins the Czech championship in Cyclo cross for the fifth time; Czech Tatra truck racer Aleš Loprais clinched his second stage win in this year’s Dakar Rally; Sparta stumble again in the domestic hockey league.
Milan Hejduk scored twice and David Kočí scored his first of the season for the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday but it wasn’t enough for their team to overcome the New York Islanders. The final score was 3:4 in overtime. In other action, Martin Havlát had a goal and an assist for Minnesota who beat Pittsburgh 4:0.
The Czech Republic’s hockey team has finished in 7th place at the Junior World Championship after beating Slovakia 5:2. It is the second time the Czechs and Slovaks – former compatriots – have faced off at the Juniors and the second time in a row the U20 team has finished in 7th spot. In the tournament the Czech Republic fared well against Norway, Germany and Slovakia, but were badly beaten by Russia, Sweden and Canada.
In ice hockey, the Czech under-20 team narrowly beat Germany in the world championships underway in Canada. The win in the relegation round assures the Czechs will stay in the top flight at this level. The Czechs had to come back after twice going down to eventually win 3:2. The hero of the game was Ondřej Palát with two goals including the winner. In the last match on Tuesday, the Czechs go on to meet Slovakia, which has also assured it will stay up in the top world competition.
In Sports News: Top domestic league hockey clubs Pardubice and Kometa face off under an open sky; the Czech U20 hockey team staves off Germany at Worlds; cross-country skier Lukáš Bauer falls to 21st spot after three Tour de Ski events; football’s Aston Villa score late goal against Čech’s Chelsea to draw; Czech quad rider Josef Macháček takes an early lead in the Dakar Rally underway in South America.
In first such event in more than four decades, Pardubice beat Kometa Brno 4:2 in an open-air game of the Czech top hockey division on Sunday. It was snowing heavily throughout the first period but both team agreed to go ahead. Kometa scored first, and was leading 2:0 at the end of the first period. But the hosts came back after the break, and put in three goals in the second. In the final part, Kometa failed to convert a penalty shot; with two minutes to go, the visitors pulled the goalie and played with an empty net. However, the hosts gained control of the puck and scored an easy fourth goal. The open-air game, which was held at a speedway stadium near Pardubice, eastern Bohemia, drew 17,000 viewers and broke the season’s attendance record.
The Czech national hockey team lost 3:8 to Russia at the World U20 Championships held in Buffalo, N.Y., in the United States on Friday. Once again, the Czechs took an early lead when forward Jakub Orsava hit the net in the second minute. But the Russians equalized just one minute later and won the first period 1:4. The Czechs than added just two more goals, while their opponents scored four times in the rest of the game, setting the final score at 3:8. The Czechs, who needed a straight win to advance to the tournament’s play-off round, will now play to secure a spot in the elite division.
The Czech national hockey team lost 3:6 to Sweden at the U20 World Championships in Buffalo, NY, in the United States on Thursday. The Czechs had a great start, and pulled ahead 1:0 in a power-play in the fourth minute. But the Swedes, who are considered one of the candidates for the gold, equalized just two minutes later and eventually won the first period 3:1. The Swedish team then built up a lead of 5:1 before 17-year-old Czech forward Michal Frk put in two goals, setting the score at 5:3 at the end of the second period. The Czechs however conceded one more goal in the final period, and will have to beat Russia to advance to the tournament’s quarterfinals.
Sparta Prague lost to Team Canada 4:3 in overtime at the Sprengler Cup in Switzerland on Wednesday and was eliminated from the tournament. Canada was leading 2:0 and 3:1 in the game but Sparta’s David Výborný equalized in the 37th minute. The game then went to overtime where Sparta was penalized for too many players on the ice, and it only took the Canadians two minutes to score the winning goal. Team Canada advanced to the cup’s semi-finals while Sparta, which had also lost to St Petersburg and Geneva, was sent home.
The Czech national hockey team faces Sweden at the Under-20 world championships in the US on Thursday for a spot among the last eight. The Czechs kicked off the tournament with a 2:0 win over Norway but then lost 7:2 to one of the favourites, Canada. Captain of the Czech team, Jakub Jeřábek, said Czechs needed to play more aggressively and shoot more to overcome the Swedes, who are also considered strong candidates for the medal.
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