Monday, May 24, 2010

Czechs Win 2010 World Championships

Team Czech Republic wins the "NIT" of hockey tournaments this spring hosted by Germany. It has to be bittersweet since the criticism of the once A-listed tournament has accumulated to knock it down by it being overshadowed by the Stanley Cup playoffs and the fact that many professional players chose to sit it out.

There was already a huge and highly contested affair in Vancouver this year called the Winter Olympics and it seems from most players, pundits and fans that another IIHF tournament seemed to be overkill. The NHL players had just come off of a grueling year that was condensed to support an Olympic year.

Czech Republic, who have been on the winning Gold Medal podium before, ended a dominant team Russia program that had been steamrolling through a 27 game winning streak at the Worlds.
Jakub Klepis gave the Czechs the lead just 20 seconds in, and captain Tomas Rolinek made it 2-0 with less than 2 minutes left in the second period. Pavel Datsyuk cut Russia's deficit to a goal with 35.3 seconds remaining in the game, but it wasn't enough.
The World Championships wasn't totally bereft of star NHL players. Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun also got a chance to shine in the affair.
Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers made 35 saves for the Czechs
And the most interesting note the Czechs have won the World Championships of hockey is how dynasty-like they have been since spiting the program up when the country divorced itself from Slovakia.
who have won the world championship title six times since the separation of Czechoslovakia. They also finished first in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005.
Team Slovakia has won the World Championships once and will be the host city in 2011.

[Via: Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune]
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