Czechia is back in 1st place

Czechia scored twice to take a 2-0 lead in this afternoon’s game in Riga. The win moved Czechia to the top of Group B with 13 points, one more than Switzerland and two ahead of Canada. The standings will change again by dinner time as those teams play next.

Norway’s record drops to 1-0-1-3, and their four points leave them in 7th place. Latvia, currently in the fourth and final QF spot with eight points, have their playoff hopes hanging on by a very thin thread. Both the teams have two games left.

Karel Vejmelka stopped 27 shots for the shutout and his second win in as many starts this year.

„We played really hard, especially in the second period,” Wejmelka said. „We had to kill a lot of penalties, but we did a good job. It was a big win for us. The team played very defensively in front of me and I tried to see the puck. That’s my job.”

„I think we should be happy with the points,” teammate Michael Jordan said. „The two big games against Switzerland and Canada I think every game is getting better and better.”

„I think we played well; everyone worked hard,” said Norway captain Ken Andre Olymp. „We knew we needed some lucky bounces against Czechia and we didn’t get them. We had enough chances to score, so it’s a bit disappointing.”

Norway have beaten Czechia only once in 22 games, in 2010.

„I think we played well against a good team, but we need to shoot more if we want to score goals,” said Emil Lilleberg. „We took too many penalties. We talked about that. That was a big reason why we lost the game.”

READ  The Cougars are coming off a walk-off win over South Dakota State

As the teams played for their place in the standings, the Czechs came out and dominated the opening period, with good puck movement and, fortunately, a two-man advantage at 1:46. They opened the scoring with a 3-for-5 score at 12:33 when Dominik Kubalik fired a shot from the slot that beat Henrik Haagland cleanly. It was his tournament-leading 7th goal and 11th point.

At the other end, the Norwegians showed why they have scored just five goals in five games, the fewest of the 16 teams. Ole Einar Engeland Anderson got the puck in a great position at the top of the circle…and shot wide.

The Czechs opened a two-goal gap with Michael Kempny’s sensational torpedo pass. He beat Jakub Fleck at the Norway blue line, and Fleck went in alone to convert the opportunity at 18:43.

To say the Czechs were in second penalty trouble would be an understatement. They had three minors, one major and one game misconduct, and they were short eleven in 20 minutes. Still, two of the best chances of the period belonged to them, as their penalty kill soared. The game could have changed early when Danijel Vosenilek found a key spot to board, but it was the Czechs who almost scored.

At first, they had a two-on-the-goalie with Vladimir Sobotka and Jiri Smejkal, but Sobotka waited too long to pass, and Haagland saved on Smejkal’s re-direct. Moments later, Fleck broke away and fired wide. The rest of the period was an exercise in frustration for Norway, who were unable to penetrate or establish presence on the attacking end despite having an extra skater for long periods of time.

READ  Yuvraj Singh has formed India's best XI for the T20 World Cup campaign

Norway was forced to practice its own penalty kill when Ludwig Hoff took a hick-sticking double minor. In fact, they met the four minors of the final period and they were in writing, but they could not solve the Vejmelka puzzle either.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *