Hockey club Liberec have taken a 2-1 lead over Pardubice in the playoff semi-finals. Liberec have now won both games at home. On Wednesday they edged Pardubice by a score of 2:1. Liberec scored both goals in the opening period with Jaroslav Kudrna getting the winner. Pardubice got one back in the second but were unable to equalize in a rough match that saw a high number of penalties: nine for Liberec and seven for Pardubice.
In the Czech hockey league, the semifinals best-of seven series are under way, with the Liberec White Tigers going ahead 2:1 against Pardubice on Wednesday in some really nerve-wrecking action. In the other series, however, Kometa Brno is set to surprise just about anyone including their most devoted fans. Having finished 10th in the regular season, Kometa knocked out the winners Sparta Prague. Now, the Brno side is leading the regular season runners-up Plzeň 2:0. RP spoke to Czech TV commentator and Philadelphia Flyers forward Martin Hosták about
Kometa Brno, the surprise so far of this year’s Tipsport Extraliga hockey playoffs, continued to catch their opponents off guard on Monday, this time by winning the opener of their semi-final series against Plzeň by a score of 4:3. Kometa managed to turn around a game they began poorly, at first looking sluggish on their skates and falling behind by two goals in the opening minutes. Gradually the team was able to get back into the swing of it, trailing 2:1. Brno completed the comeback in the 3rd period when the club added two: Jakub Svoboda scored the winner, getting the puck just under the bar. The teams face each other again in Game 2 on Tuesday.
In Sports News: Czech hockey club Pardubice win Game 2, evening their semi-final series against Liberec at one apiece; in the NHL, Tomáš Fleischmann scores, earns assist for the Florida Panthers; football club Sparta Prague are a meagre point ahead of second-place Liberec, leaving the season title up-for-grabs; Martina Sablíková wins the 5,000 metres at the World Championships.
Two Czech goalies took to the ice on Friday in a match between the Winnipeg Jets and Washington capitals: Ondřej Pavelec and Michal Neuwirth. Both allowed three goals apiece in regulation time, and the game was decided on penalties, in which Pavelec proved the better. The final score was 4:3. The Jets outshot Washington 42:23 and came back from a 3:0 deficit to earn the win. The Capitals are clinging to eighth spot in the Eastern Conference to try and make the Stanley Cup playoffs. With 74 regular season games played, the Jets are 10th – four points behind.
Plzeň booked the last remaining spot in the semi-finals of the Czech hockey league when they beat Zlín 4:2 in Wednesday’s decisive game of the best-of seven quarterfinals series. Zlín went ahead twice but Plzeň always tied the match. In the third period, the referees controversially disallowed Zlín’s goal and Plzeň then scored twice to wrap up the game.
In the Czech hockey league play-offs, Pardubice on Tuesday night beat
Vítkovice 5:4 in the dramatic last game of the quarterfinal best-of-seven
series. Vítkovice went ahead twice in the game but Pardubice always
managed to equalize, the last time with just 31 seconds before the end of
the third period. In the extra time, it took the five-fold league
Pardubice less than a minute to score the winning goal when forward
Rákos found the net with a beautiful shot just off the blue line.
On Wednesday, Zlín is playing Plzeň for the remaining spot in the league semifinals; Kometa Brno and Liberec had booked their places earlier.
Kometa Brno defeated regular season winners Sparta Prague 4:1 on Monday,
winning the best-of-seven quarterfinals series 4:2 and advancing to the
playoffs’ last four. Kometa finished eight in the regular season and only
booked a spot in the playoffs after defeating Kladno in a play-in. But
Sparta were unable to overcome Brno’s great defence and the steadfast
goalie Jiří Trvaj, and lost the last three games in the series.
In other quarterfinal series, Zlín is tied with Plzeň and Pardubice with Vítkovice. Liberec had earlier booked a place in the semifinals after defeating České Budějovice 4:1.
In Sports News: In the Tipsport Extraliga hockey playoffs, Liberec reach the semi-finals while Vítkovice force a game 7 in their quarterfinal against Pardubice;in the NHL, goalies Neuwirth, Pavelec suffer defeat against Caroline, Chicago; in football, Liberec remain within three points of league-leaders Sparta; Chelsea book spot in Champions League quarterfinals.
Two Czech NHL players, Jaromír Jágr and Petr Sýkora, have been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by their clubs. Jágr, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, may have a good shot at making it into the final three for the prize, a prestigious award given to those NFL players who best exemplify the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. Sýkora was put forward by his club, the New Jersey Devils.
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