In Sports News this Monday: Czechs reach last eight at “home” ice hockey Worlds with win over Germany but coach Růžička says they must improve; Viktoria Plzeň are within touching distance of soccer league title after defeat of Sparta; České Budějovice and Hradec Králové keep slim chances of staying up alive; and Kvitová wins 16th title in Madrid.
Calgary Flames forward Jiří Hudler, held without a point in four games, opened the scoring and also got an assist on Sunday in Game 5 of the Flames’ second-round match- against the Anaheim Ducks up in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The match was a close affair which went to overtime tied at 2-2. Calgary needed a win to cut their deficit in the best-of-seven series which they trailed 3-1 but Anaheim’s Corey Perry found the net in the extra period, sending the Flames home for the summer.
The Czech Republic beat Germany 4:2 at the World Ice Hockey Championship in Prague on Sunday. The Germans scored first but the hosts bounced back with goals from Vondrka, Koukal, Voráček and Jágr. The result secures a place in the quarter-finals for the Czech Republic, whose final group game is against Switzerland on Tuesday evening.
In ice hockey, the Czech Republic beat Austria 4:0 in the world championships in Prague on Friday. The first period was goalless. Ondrěj Němec opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with two more goals following in the final minutes of the period from Martin Zaťovič and Vladimír Sobotka. The final period was just seven seconds old when Jakub Voráček made it four. In spite of two power plays for the Czechs to march ended without further goals. The result takes the Czechs into third place in the group, ahead of Switzerland but trailing Canada and Sweden.
In the ice hockey world championships, the Czech team beat France 5:1 to record its second win in the group so far. The Czechs now lie in fourth place, trailing group leader Canada, second placed Sweden and third placed Switzerland. The Czech team had to wait until the 22nd minute to open the scoring with the first of Němec’s two goals on the night. France later pulled back to 1:2 with Hercquefeuille finding the net. Other Czech scorers were Sobotka, Červenka, and Jágr.
There is no escaping the fact that the Czech Republic is hosting the current ice hockey world championships. Beer companies have fought over the rights to have the championship or ice hockey association logo on their products. Sponsorship is plastered everywhere, there are even collections of chocolate ice hockey stars on sale in supermarkets. And, it's estimated that around 300,000 tourists might visit the country in connection with the championships. But how do the economics of hosting the championships work out?
The Czech Republic lost 6-3 to Canada at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague on Monday in a contest which was close for the first two periods. The Czechs managed to tie the game briefly in the second at two goals apiece but Canada scored soon after and dominated in the third. Canada has not lost a point in the tournament so far, the host team Czechs picked up four points in an earlier win and loss in overtime; the squad faces France next.
The coach of the Czech national hockey team, Vladimír Růžička, is reportedly leaving two spots open on the squad’s roster at the Worlds in Prague and Ostrava for additional players. A member of the coaching staff told Czech TV that members were hoping Montreal Canadiens’ forward Tomáš Plekanec might be available – if his team failed to advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Montreal dug itself into a hole against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday and now trails 2:0 in their best-of-seven series heading back to Tampa. Some contact has been made but the team’s assistant coach Ondřej Weissmann made clear the matter was being handled with a light touch, as Plekanec’s main focus was to help his hockey club. The 32-year-old forward and his wife, Czech pop singer Lucie Vondráčková, are also expecting their second child in the coming days.
The Czech national hockey team faces Team Canada at the Ice Hockey World Championships on Monday. Canada, one of the favourites in the tournament, has been on a roll in the championships so far, clinching two wins in two match-ups. On Sunday, the team crushed Germany 10:0. The Czechs lost their first match against Sweden in a penalty shootout and rebounded 4:2 against Latvia. Ondřej Pavelec, who plays for the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL, is expected to start in net. This year’s Worlds are taking place in Prague and Ostrava.
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