In ice hockey, Litvínov has claimed its first domestic Extraliga title in its history, after beating Třinec 2:0 in the seventh, deciding match of the playoff final series at Třinec’s arena on Thursday night. The tight match was goalless throughout the first two periods largely thanks to outstanding performances by the two goaltenders. The title was secured by František Lukeš, who scored in the 52nd minute and added another goal when he found an empty net in the final minutes of the game. Litvínov’s goalkeeper Pavel Francouz got a shutout for the fourth time in this year’s playoff.
In ice hockey, the Czech team won 4:1 against Finland in its warm up match for the world championships on Wednesday night. The Czechs came back after going behind in the first minute of play. Four NHL returnees featured in the Czech line-up: Jan Heyda, Jakub Voráček, Tomáš Hertl, and Martin Erat. Jakub Voráček played a key role in three of the Czech goals without scoring himself. The Czech win makes it six victories from the last seven for the national team. Manager Vladimír Růžíčka said the defensive performance in the first period was weak but said he was satisfied with the overall performance.
The playoffs final series in the domestic ice hockey Extraliga is set to go to a seventh, deciding match after Třinec beat Litvínov 6:3 on Tuesday evening to make it 3:3 on games. The champions will be crowned on Thursday, when the series returns to Třinec’s arena. At one point Litvínov, who have never won the Extraliga in over 50 years of existence, were 3:1 up on games in the best-of-seven series.
In Sports News: Defending champions Czech Republic reach Fed Cup win over Franc in semi-finals – non-playing captain Pála says team are just as hungry as before first title; Třinec keep playoffs alive after equalising against Litvínov with 36 seconds to go; and no “bounce” for Sparta after replacing Lavička with Ščasný.
Hockey goaltender Petr Mrázek may have been phenomenal in the Red Wings
opening game in the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning,
but was less than stellar on Saturday when he allowed four goals on 18
shots. He was pulled after allowing the fourth; the Lightening went on to
win 5:1. Mrázek will reportedly return for Game 3. The series is currently
tied at one apiece.
The Winnipeg Jets' Ondřej Pavelec, meanwhile, stopped 37 shots on Saturday but his team still lost by a score of 2:1 against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Forward Tomáš Plekanec contributed in the Montreal Canadiens' win
against the Ottawa Senators on Friday, assisting on the game-winning goal
in their second match-up of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The teams went into
overtime tied at two apiece; Alex Galchenyuk scored at 3:40 in the extra
period. The Habs lead the best-of-seven series 2:0. The next game takes
place in Ottawa.
In other action, Radim Vrbata scored once for the Vancouver Canucks against the Calgary Flames. Vancouver won the game 4:1, squaring their first-round series at one apiece.
Czech ice hockey legend Jaroslav Holík, who helped Czechoslovakia win a hockey world title and an Olympic bronze medal, has died at the age of 72. The forward scored 57 goals for Czechoslovakia in his 142 international games. He also led his country's under-20 team to world titles in 2000 and 2001 as a coach. The Czech ice hockey federation made the announcement on Friday, saying that he died after battling an unspecified, long-term illness.
Czech Minister of Education Marcel Chládek said he will examine all state subsidies granted to hockey between the years 2012 and 2014. The announcement came on Wednesday as a reaction to a suspicion that the Czech national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička is guilty of bribe-taking. The trainer was accused of accepting CZK 500,000 from a man to allow his son to play for Slavia Prague, where he also coaches. The head of the Czech ice hockey federation Tomáš Král found the minister’s statement “humourous”, adding that a control has just been carried out, finding no shortcomings.
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