In Sports News: In football, Sparta Prague stumble in the Gambrinus liga, drawing 2:2 draw against visitors Teplice; Petr Čech and London club Chelsea reach the FA Cup final; Pardubice square series against Kometa Brno in Tipsport Extraliga finals; Jágr earns three assists in win that puts Pittsburgh Penguins on the brink in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Several Czech hockey players have gotten off to an excellent start in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which began in the NHL. Martin Hanzal, who plays for the Phoenix Coyotes, redirected a shot to earn the overtime winner in Game 1 against Chicago; 3:2 was the final score. Jakub Voráček also got an overtime winner for Philadelphia, who came back from 3:0 against Pittsburgh; 4:3 was the score. And, Martin Havlát got the winner in double-overtime for the San Jose Sharks against St. Louis; 3:2 was the final score.
Kometa Brno beat Pardubice 6:5 in the second game of the hockey league finals on Tuesday night and tied the best-of-seven series. Kometa was ahead 2:0 after the first period and was leading the hosts 6:2 in the third. But Pardubice scored three times in less than two minutes and were close to equalizing. However, Kometa held out and tied the final series which now moves to Brno.
In the Czech hockey league playoffs, Pardubice beat Liberec 4:2 on Tuesday night and won the semifinal best-of-seven series 4:2. In the finals, Pardubice will play Kometa Brno which had earlier booked their spot after defeating regular season’s runners-up Plzeň. The first game of the final series is scheduled on Monday in Pardubice.
Kometa Brno has become the first team to reach this year’s Extraliga playoff finals. On Monday the team – the dark horse or “Cinderella story” of this year’s competition – trounced Plzeň by a score of 7:2. It is the first time in 41 years that Brno has reached the final: the club clinched the series by an overall difference of 4:1 and will face either Pardubice or Liberec. In the other semi-final series Parubice leads 3:2 and could close out Liberec if they win later on Tuesday.
HC Plzeň 1929 beat Kometa Brno 3:2 in the fourth game of the hockey league’s best-of-seven semifinal series in Brno on Saturday. The hosts’ victory could end the series but Plzeň played a great game, and were leading 3:1 just after the start of the second period. Brno brought the gap down to 3:2 several minutes later but were unable to equalize. The series now moves on to Plzeň where the two teams will clash again on Monday. On Sunday, the other semifinal series continues between Pardubice and Liberec.
Kometa Brno beat HC Plzeň 1929 1:0 in the third game of the best-of-seven semifinal series in Brno on Friday, and is one win away from reaching the finals. The visitors pushed hard to go ahead but were unable to overcome Brno goalie Jiří Trvaj who is in top form. Kometa scored the only goal of the game in a power-play in the second period when Jakub Svoboda picked up a rebound puck in front of the goal and drove it in. Kometa have a chance to end the semifinal series on Saturday.
Only a few games remain in the NHL regular season but a number of Czech players made their mark on Thursday, including Jaromír Jágr, who earned three assists for the Philadelphia. The Flyers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a lopsided 7:1. Philadelphia have already clinched a place in the Stanley Cup playoffs and are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference. Toronto, by comparison are well out of contention (fans at the stadium for the game even began a ‘Let’s go Blue Jays!’ chant at one point – referring to the city’s baseball team). On Thursday Czechs earned assists or scored in seven games.
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.
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