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Kovy, Russia come up short at Worlds

Czechs end Russian quest for three straight World Championship titles

Monday, 05.24.2010 / 11:25 AM ET / News
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Kovy, Russia come up short at Worlds
Kovalchuk led the Worlds with 12 points in nine games (2g-10a).
Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun stopped 35 shots as the Czech Republic stunned Russia on Sunday to win gold at the IIHF World Championship in Cologne, Germany.

Jakub Klepis and Tomas Rolinek were the goal scorers as the Czechs snapped a 27-game win streak for Russia at the event and denied the nation’s hopes for a third consecutive world title.

The game drew 19,132 fans to a sold-out Lanxess Arena, a World Championship attendance record for an indoor game.

Vokoun, who shut out Canada 3-0 in the gold-medal game in 2005, came within 35 seconds of another impeccable performance before Pavel Datsyuk scored off a one-timer, ripping home a feed from Ilya Kovalchuk with Russia goalie Semyon Varlamov on the bench for a sixth attacker.

"Vokoun is the best goalkeeper not only in this World Championship, but in the whole world," Czech Republic coach Vladimir Ruzicka told the IIHF website.

"We were huge underdogs coming into the tournament, and we almost didn't even make it to the playoff stage," Vokoun added. "You always read about those great stories, and now it's happened to me."

Kovalchuk, captain of the Russian team, was the tournament's leading scorer with 12 points (2g-10a) in nine games. He finished a plus-8.

It took only 20 seconds for the Czechs to take a lead they would never relinquish, as Jaromir Jagr capitalized on a turnover behind the Russia net and fed the puck in front to a wide-open Klepis. With Varlamov out of position, Klepis had an open net in which to score for a 1-0 advantage.

Vokoun was stellar in the opening 20 minutes and also fortunate the period didn’t last a second longer. Russia thought it had drawn even when Datsyuk scored from a tight angle, but the horn to end the period beat the puck entering the net.

Rolinek made it 2-0 with 1:47 left in the second period. Karel Rachunek sent the puck toward the net and it deflected off the skate of a hard-charging Rolinek and past Varlamov. Video review determined there was no distinct kicking motion, and what turned out to be the game-winning goal was allowed to stand.

"This was probably the biggest surprise in hockey history," Jagr told the IIHF site. "They had stars and we had guys who play in the Czech Republic, but this shows that talent doesn't matter -- you have to work hard."

Despite having a 6-on-3 advantage at one point late in the game due to a pair of Czech penalties and pulling the goalie, Russia couldn't manage anything more than Datsyuk's last-minute tally.

"I think we did a good job trying in the end, but it's disappointing, every time you lose the final," defenseman Sergei Gonchar told the IIHF site. "I think we deserved to take the game into overtime."

There is speculation this game could have marked the end of the international careers of Jagr, 38, and 40-year-old Sergei Fedorov of Russia.

"I hope it wasn't my last game [with the national team]," Jagr said. "I love the game, and want to play as long as possible."

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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