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Elias scores in Czech Republic victory

Friday, 05.9.2008 / 9:02 AM ET / 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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59