With extremely high fore-checking throughout the entire game, Sweden won its fourth victory in as many games in front of 6,272 spectators in Pardubice.
|Sweden - Czech Republic 4:2 (1:0, 2:0, 1:2)|
|Sweden: Enroth (Ridderwall) - Carlsson, Berglund, Motin, Hedman, Moe, Andersen, Eklund - Moller, Berglund, Alcen - Figren, Andersson, Larsson - Forsberg, Backlund, Lagerstrom - Svensson Paajarivi, Kempe, Lundh, Hagelin |
|Czech Republic: Kovar (Neuvirth) - Boruta, Jordan, Piskacek, Paryzek, Prokop, Kundratek - Voracek, Frolik, Bartek - Latal, Strapac, Hampl - Sklenar, Kubena, Ondracek - Meidl, Semorad, Szturc |
Sweden needed one point from this game to secure the top spot in Pool A and get a by to the semi final. The Czechs also had the chance but they would have to beat Sweden by a large margin.
With a 3-0 lead after two periods the Swedish lead looked solid but second period goals by Antonin Boruta and Jakub Sklenar made the third period interesting. The Swedes however would hold the Czechs a couple of goals behind to win 4-2.
Both teams showed great skill in a well played first period. Sweden took an early lead when Oscar Möller was left alone with Kovar in front of the Czech net. Czech Republic then got two consecutive power-plays and on the second they thought they tied the game, but after video review the goal was ruled out because the puck was kicked into the net by a Czech player.
Early in the second period Sweden got an opportunity to play 5-on-3 for 1:22 and they used it well. Patrik Berglund scores when the Czech defender fails to clear a rebound, and just as the second Czech penalty ended Tomas Larsson scored his first goal of the tournament to make it 3-0 Sweden.
Later in the period Czech Republic also had a two-man advantage but it didn’t result in a goal. The second period was not one of the better either of the teams has played in this tournament. Many individual mistakes and no good team efforts can probably be explain by that the players somewhat lost interest in the game after the third Swedish goal.
“We had a great a great first period, but in the second we took too many penalties”, said the opening scorer Oscar Möller.
An early Czech goal in the third period scored by Antonin Boruta gave the Czechs some hope, but less than a minute later Robin Figren added another Swedish goal.
At 50:10 Jakub Sklenar closed the gap to two with a powerful shot and not many seconds later the Czechs also had a bid for another goal but Swedish goalie Jhonas Enroth made a great save with his left pad. Enroth made 25 saves in a game where his team was out-shot 27-18.
Sweden managed to ride out the storm to win 4-2.
“I think we were the better team and deserved to win”, said Swedish forward Tomas Larsson.
Czech Republic ends up third in the group to be drawn against Russia in the semi final. Sweden gets a by to the semi final. All games in the Play-Off Round will be played in Pardubice.
Pär Mårts (Sweden): I am very proud of what these guys have done. We haven’t been favourites. From the start I have talked about how winning is a port of the hockey life. And if you believe in that you may go all the way. If was a difficult game because the Czechs have some really great players. The power-plays when we scored the second and third goals decided the game.
Miloslav Horava (Czech Republic): I have to congratulate the Swedish team. They over-played us. We got only a few moments when we got some chances but they were better for the whole game. We hope we will get better for the Quarter Final game.