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Czechs beat rival Slovaks to finish fifth at hockey junior worlds

01-05-2012 15:05 BJT

CALGARY, Canada, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Two days after getting knocked out of the quarter-finals by Russia, the Czech Republic took out their frustrations on Slovakia Wednesday at the World Junior Hockey Championship, hammering their arch-rival neighbors 5-2 to finish the tournament in fifth spot.

In earlier games, the USA got by Switzerland 2-1, while Latvia beat Denmark 2-1 in overtime in the relegation game.

On Thursday, defending champion Russia will meet Sweden in the gold medal game, while host Canada plays Finland for the bronze.

With the 2-1 overtime loss to the Russians still fresh in their minds, Petr Holik and Vojtech Mozik each scored a goal and assist, while defenceman Daniel Krejci picked up two assists, to pace the Czechs who finished the tournament featuring the world's best under-20 players at 3-3.

Slovakia finished 2-4 in sixth place.

The Czechs dominated the opening period with Radek Faksa, Holik and Mozik each scoring in a space of just over 10 minutes to take a 3-0 lead into the dressing room. The Slovaks got on the board at 14:17 of the second when Milos Bubela beat Czech goaltender Petr Mrazek.

Dominik Uher then restored the Czech's three-goal cushion less than two minutes later for a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.

In the third, Tomas Filippi put the Czech's up 5-1 early in the period, before Slovakia's Matus Chovan closed out the scoring at 6:24.

Earlier, the Americans, playing only for pride, finished the tournament at 3-3 for seventh place, their worst result since 1999 when they were eighth. Austin Czarnik opened the scoring for the USA 11:28 into the game, before Gaetan Haas drew the Swiss even just over three minutes later.

In a wild first period, Los Angeles Kings prospect Kevin Gravel got what turned out to be the winner at 16:15 with a blast from the left point.

Despite outshooting the Swiss 44-22, the Americans were repeatedly stonewalled by goaltender Tim Wolf. His counterpart, Jack Campbell, was equally sharp, stopping Swiss forward Lino Martschini point blank with eight minutes to go in the third to preserve the lead.


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