Special teams make the difference as Czech Republic defeats Finland in the fifth place game.
|Czech Republic - Finland 5:1 (0:1, 3:0, 2:0)|
|Goals: 27. Bártek (Meidl), 28. Frolík (Semorád, Szturc), 40. Kundrátek (Ondráček), 48. Hampl (Ondráček), 58. Látal (Ondráček) - 2. Pesonen (Warn). Referees: Bulanov (RUS), Konc (SVK) - Jobson (CAN), Winneken (GER). Attendance: 483. Shots on goal: 25-30|
|Czech Republic: Neuvirth (Daneček) - Bořuta, Jordán, Prokop, Kundrátek, Parýzek - Voráček, Frolík, Látal - Sklenář, Kuběna, Ondráček - Hampl, Meidl, Bártek - Semorád, Střapáč, Szturc. |
|Finland: Helenius (Sateri) - Lehtivuori, Lajunen, Jalvanti, Kousa, Purolinna, Malkamaki - Aaltonen, Kemppainen, Salminen - Lucenius, Malinen, Puustinen - Personen, Sallinen, Warn - Lahde, Liivik, Poysti.
Gone were the drums and thousands of singing fans that had helped the home team earlier in the tournament. In front of 483 spectators in CEZ Arena in Pardubice, Czech Republic proved to be better than Finland to win the game.
In the second period when they were down by one goal Finland got to play 6 consecutive minutes on the power-play without scoring. When Czech Republic then got to play with one more player on the ice Tomas Kundratek needed only 13 seconds to score on Finnish goaltender Riku Helenius. The next time the Czechs played on power-play they also scored. Zbynek Hampl got the 4-1 goal that killed the game. Finland pulled the goalie with a few minutes remaining but then Jiri Ondracek intercepted a Finnish pass and gave the puck to Martin Latal who dumped the puck into the empty net.
Finland outshot the home team 30-25 but Czech netminder Michal Neuvirth saved 29 shots. “Finland came out hard in the first period and we played a little slow”, said Neuvirth after the game. “I don’t know why. Maybe because of last game when we lost to Russia. Then we started to play hockey and we were better than Finland”.
With a nice back-hander Harri Pesonen made it 1-0 Finland just 2 minutes into the game. Finland held the lead for almost 25 minutes before Daniel Bartek tied the game when Helenius left a rebound on Meidl’s shot.
When Helenius gave up another rebound a little more than a minute later Michael Frolik scored his fifth goal of the championship to take the Czechs to the lead.
Kundratek, Hampl and Latal then scored unanswered goals and Czech Republic defeated Finland 5-1.
"It was hard to get motivated for this game because yesterday we played the most important game on the tournament", said Finnish goal scorer Harri Pesonen. "In the second period we took a couple of stupid penalties. Our coach tried to motivate us for third period, but we didn´t get it."
Jukka Rautakorpi (Finland): It was hard to get focused. We were physically very tired and that’s why we couldn’t play at the same level as the other games in this tournament. We tried to get the boys to focus and I think we played well the first ten minutes but then it was very hard.
Miloslav Horava (Czech Republic): I agree with my colleague that it was a hard game to play. Especially mentally. The players were disappointed after yesterday’s game so it was hard to focus. Today the players showed that they can play at 100% and they have shown that the whole tournament. I’m really glad that we managed to beat Finland for the first time this season but it was in the last game of the tournament that didn’t really matter.