Czechs stun Swedes, 3-2
Czechs stun Swedes, 3-2
Goalie Martin’s injury leaves Swedes vulnerable
Czech forward Eva Holesova took a pass from behind the net and buried the game-winner from close range late in the second period. Sweden mustered only two shots over the final 20 minutes.
“All I had to do was chip the puck in; that was an easy job for me to do,” Holesova said through an interpreter. “We knew we were in this top group, but we didn’t want to just come here to survive. We’re not finished. We’re here for more than just survival.”
The Three Crowns were minus three stars.
Swedish star goaltender Kim Martin was injured prior to Saturday’s exhibition loss to Canada, and veteran superstar Erika Holst suffered a concussion last November and didn’t make the final roster. As well, Gunilla Andersson, the last active player from 1992, retired.
Swedish head coach Niclas Hogberg wasn’t making excuses, though.
“We were slow to the puck, especially at the start, and they wanted to win more than us,” Hogberg said. “We had 20 players out there, no matter who’s in the lineup, so we have to do better as a team. This is not how we play hockey in Sweden.”
The Czech Republic lost 10-1 to Finland in pre-tournament action Friday in Smiths Falls, Ontario, but bounced back with a 6-3 victory over the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday in nearby Rockland.
On Tuesday, the Czechs capitalized on several careless penalties by the Swedes and took advantage with a couple of early power-play goals in the opening period.
Czech forward Lucie Povova opened the scoring on a gorgeous end-to-end rush, snapping a wrist shot into the top corner. Klara Chmelova put the Czech Republic up by two. The score could have been greater if not for a hit goalpost and a disallowed goal for high-sticking.Continue reading
Sweden re-grouped following the first intermission and tied the game with two quick goals in a span of 49 seconds.
Erika Grahn snapped a beautiful shot between the pads of Czech Republic goaltender Radka Lhotska, while Elin Holmlov added the tying marker.
Members of the Czech coaching staff wore big grins and patted the players on the back as they headed for the dressing room following the Czech national anthem at game’s end.
“We knew we had to be hungry at the start to build our confidence and we were able to do that,” Holesova said. “We are very, very happy.”
Lhotska had 17 saves for the Czech Republic. Valentina Lizana made 23 stops for Sweden.
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