Sweden faced Czech Republic in the first game on friday. Sweden still without a win in the tournament against an already qualified Czech Republic, a game that was predicted to be intense and with some high-quality para ice hockey kept its promise and gave the crowd some well played hockey. After three goals in the second period, Czech Republic had an one goal advantage of Sweden that they never lost and won the game with 4-3.
The both teams started the game with a lot of energy and a high tempo, something that was denotative to this game. Czech Republic took the lead twice during the first 22 minutes something Sweden equalized both times. After equalizing two time, Sweden took the lead by #15 Christian Hedberg who scored on a pass from Niklas Rakos.
Although, the Czech haven’t lost a single game in this tournament yet and didn’t want to change that fact after this game either. With two quick goals in under 30 seconds, Czech Republic was leading this game once more. An advantage that the swedes didn’t manage to equalize. After starting with #17 Jan Matousek as a goaltender, the czech head coach Jiri Briza swapped him against Michal Vapenka in the third period. Vapenka, with the best save ratio in the tournament, didn’t let any puck go by him and the third period remained goalless.
To qualify for Paralympics, Sweden must now hope for Japan to beat Slovakia in todays late game. The swedes also must beat Germany in tomorrows game to be able to qualify for the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang.
Czech Republic still stand unbeaten and will play in Paralympics. With three win in three games, Czech Republic together with Japan, are the only unbeaten teams. These two face each other tomorrow, in a battle to remain unbeaten.
”We had to motivate the players to score more goals than Sweden, and we did” – Jiri Briza, head coach Czech Republic.
Sweden – Czech Republic
Result: 3 – 4 (1-1, 2-3, 0-0)
Scorer: 0-1, 12:22 #29, Zdenek Habl, (Kubes).
1-1, 14:32 #20 Niklas Rakos, (Hedberg).
1-2, 17:22 #96 Zdenek Krupicka, (Wagner).
2-2, 21:37 #8 Per Kasperi, (Ingvarsson)
3-2, 25:12 #15 Christian Hedberg, (Rakos)
3-3, 27:10 #29 Pavel Kubes, (Habl, Motycka)
3-4, 27:39 #77 David Palat, (Safranek, Krupicka)
Shots: 20 – 18
Penalty: (Sweden) –
(Czech Republic) 5:43, #75 Raul. 2 min, interference.
19:29, #75 Raul. 2 min, interference.
35:04, #24 Sefranek. 2 min, interference.
44:31, #96 Krupicka. 2 min, roughing.
Best player: Sweden: #18 Peter Ojala (C)
Czech Republic: #24 Zdenek Safranek (C)