The Czech national hockey team wins bronze at the Ice Hockey World Championship, downing Russia 7:4 in a thrilling match; football club Viktoria Plzeň are two points away from being crowned league champions; and Czech motorcycle racer Karel Abraham finishes in the top 10 in the France MotoGP.
Bronze medal satisfying finish to Czech team’s excellent run at Ice Hockey World Championships
Before they got there, though, what a topsy-turvy affair it was.
Russia twice led in the game before the Czechs tied it at 3:3 in the second. After that, the Czechs took control, jumping to a two-goal lead of 5:3, then 6:4, before Plekanec slammed a final goal into Russia’s empty net in the dying seconds. Eleven goals is the most ever scored in the bronze medal game at the World Championships or the Winter Olympics and the Czech team – the gold medal winner from last year – was ecstatic that after a great run it would not be coming home empty-handed. After the game here is how Červenka described the Czech team’s tactics:
Public broadcaster Czech TV noted that this year’s championship marked the first time since 1985 that two players got hat tricks during the tournament; Červenka’s and one by 39-year-old star player Jaromír Jágr. He scored three in the Czechs’ quarterfinal elimination of the United States.
A final interesting note: the Czechs twice faced Russia in this year’s tournament and won both matches. The Czechs also won last year’s final in Germany against the Russian team.
Football: Plzeň close to taking first season title
Former players like Horst Siegel very much doubt Plzeň could stumble now: he jokingly told Lidové noviny the players would have to grow beards down to their ankles to trip up and lose their lead. If indeed Plzeň do win the season it will be the first time in the club’s history; the team had never even finished in the top three in the Gambrinus Liga: since the 1993 season it has been Sparta who has won 11 titles, Slavia Prague three, Liberec two, and Baník Ostrava one.