World Championship: Czech Republic edges Russia, maintains perfect mark
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The Czech Republic overcame the arrival of Alex Ovechkin to beat Russia, 3-2, Sunday in Kosice, Slovakia, and maintain a perfect record at the hockey world championship.
Jakub Voracek, Jaromir Jagr and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Czech Republic as Ovechkin couldn't help Russia avenge a 2-1 loss to the Czechs a year ago in the final.
"It was a tough game, to the last second," Czech forward Martin Havlat said.
Voracek gave the Czechs a 1-0 lead with a backhand on a rebound 14:01 into the opening period and Jagr doubled the advantage 1:51 later for his second goal of the tournament.
Also Sunday, Mikael Backlund scored 7:47 into the third period and added an empty-net goal to give Sweden a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Switzerland to secure a place in the quarters. The result means that the United States also advanced. Sweden goalie Viktor Fasth posted his third shutout of the tournament.
"They had a lot of opportunities, but we blocked shots well and our goalie was great for us tonight," Backlund said. "He's been outstanding for us this tournament."
Two Czech players -- forward Milan Michalek and defender Karel Rachunek -- left the game and didn't return after taking big hits from Russian forward Yevgeni Artyukhin in the second period. Rachunek was bleeding from his head but Artyukhin escaped without a penalty.
"It wasn't a pretty game," Jagr said. "There were a lot of penalties and power plays."
Alexei Tereshenko scored a power-play goal for Russia midway through the middle period, but Tomas Plekanec converted a penalty shot to restore a two-goal lead 3:27 into the third. Russia also got a goal from Danis Zaripov with 4:56 remaining.
NOTE -- Members of Denmark's team were robbed of personal computers, iPods, iPads, money and other items at the Tatra hotel in Bratislava. Organizers said in a statement that the rooms of players and team officials were burglarized Saturday while the Danes were defeating Germany, 4-3, in a penalty shootout.
First Published May 9, 2011 12:00 am