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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 68 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 61 25 13 4 38
P. Elias 62 11 20 -17 31
S. Gomez 51 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 60 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 67 11 12 -3 23
A. Larsson 57 3 19 2 22
A. Greene 75 3 17 2 20
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 55 6 11 -2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 27 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47