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NEWS

Elias scores in Czech Republic victory

Friday, 05.09.2008 / 9:02 AM / News
The Canadian Press
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Elias scores in Czech Republic victory

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - The Czech Republic put an end to Switzerland's undefeated streak at the IIHF World Hockey Championship with a 5-0 win Thursday night at Le Pepsi Colisee.

The Swiss, employing the same strong forecheck and neutral-zone trap that had kept them undefeated through the preliminary round, had no answers for a talented group of Czech forwards that skated and pressed all night.

Martin Erat, Tomas Kaberle, Patrik Elias, Tomas Fleischmann and Jiri Novotny scored for the Czech Republic while Erat, Kaberle, Elias each added an assist.

It was the Nashville Predators' Erat that put the Czech Republic up 1-0 on a beautiful breakaway goal at 19:06 of the first period, capitalizing on a neutral zone turnover by Swiss defenceman Goran Bezina.

Erat was sent in all alone by Tomas Rolinek and went upstairs on Swiss goaltender Martin Gerber in what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

The Swiss had the Czech Republic playing the game at their pace through much of the first, employing a smart, tight-checking approach that slowed down the pace and prevented the more skilled Czech forwards from opening up the game.

But the tactic that had been so successful in wins over Sweden, Belarus and France didn't work as the Swiss didn't ever have an all important lead to work with.

And in the second period, the stronger Czech offence began to take control and pepper Gerber with chances while outshooting the Swiss 10-2.

The Czech's persistent attack also created some Swiss penalties and while on the power play, Kaberle scored his first goal of the championship, wiring a slapshot from the top of the circle on a feed from Elias down low.

Kaberle, the Toronto Maple Leafs defender and Czech captain, has arguably been the best defenceman so far in Quebec City.

While on the power play again, the New Jersey Devils' Elias would then walk in on Gerber from the right face-off circle and go blocker side with a wrist shot on the Ottawa Senators' goaltender to put the Czech's up by three goals at 15:50 of the second period.

And in a sign that things just weren't going to well for the Swiss on this night, Tomas Fleischmann rushed in on Gerber wrapped up by a Swiss player and flipped the puck innocently towards the net with 27 seconds left in the period.

Swiss defenceman Julian Vauclair caught the puck and gloved it into his goal by mistake to put the Swiss down and out.

Jiri Novotny added a goal late in the third period.

Gerber was back in goal for the Swiss after a strong performance from Jonas Hiller on Wednesday's win over Sweden.

Gerber, who came into the game having surrendered only two goals in his two previous tournament starts, made 28 saves.

Czech netminder Milan Hnilicka was largely untested and stopped all 12 shots he faced, with just five in the final two frames.

Fans can see all the games of the 2008 IIHF Men's Ice Hockey World Championship by visiting WCSN.com.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 51 23 10 4 33
A. Henrique 56 12 20 -1 32
P. Elias 53 10 16 -13 26
S. Gomez 39 5 18 -9 23
M. Zidlicky 63 4 19 -7 23
T. Zajac 55 10 10 -4 20
S. Bernier 48 10 8 1 18
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 45 2 16 3 18
M. Havlat 38 5 9 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 23 6 .927 2.19
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59