Czech Republic takes Bronze at Worlds
Ondrej Pavelec and Czechs beat Russia 7-4 Sunday in the bronze medal game at the 2011 IIHF World Championships.
Ilya Kovalchuk had two goals in a losing effort for Russia.
The goal-scoring was early and often after Cervanka tallied at just 3:33 of the first period, giving the Czechs an early 1-0 lead, which they would hold for just under six minutes until the teams combined for three goals in 57 seconds as Kovalchuk and Dmitry Kulikov scored to give Russia a 2-1 edge and Petr Prucha scored seconds later to knot the game up at 2-2. Another goal by Kovalchuk late in the first period would give Russia a 3-2 lead at the first intermission.
The Czech Republic would take control in the second period with three unanswered goals including a second from Prucha who would tallied three points in the game. While the Russians would get one back late in the second, Tomas Plekanec's score at 15:10 of the second would stand up as the game-winner.
Plekanec would add a second goal of his own with a game-sealing empty-netter in the closing minutes of the third period.
Russian goaltender Konstantin Barulin, who had been impressive for much of the tournament, had a difficult afternoon as he gave up six goals on 27 shots. He was unable to match up to the virtuoso performance in net of Czech netminder Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 39 shots.
Stunningly, Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin finished the tournament with no points.
The bronze victory for the Czech Republic comes a year after winning gold in the 2010 IIHF World Championships. The 2011 champion will be crowned Sunday afternoon when Sweden faces Finland at 8:30 p.m. local time.
Author: David Kalan | NHL.com Staff Writer