First Czech victory in new Tipsport arena01.09.2005 | David Schlegel
The new Tipsport arena in Liberec saw the first Czech game at the Ceska Pojistovna Cup. However in spite of this, less than 4 thousand people attended the hockey game.The Czechs came in very strong, capitalizing on a power play 92 seconds into the first period. A shot from Hlavac was deflected from the boards behind the net, setting up an easy play for Jan Marek. The Czechs played well in the first half of the period but later the Finnish players put pressure on Czech goalie Hnilicka.
At 13:59, with two Finnish defensemen-- Pepistö and Niemi-deep in the Czech zone, blueliner Anti-Jussi Niemi found Tomek Valtonen in front of almost empy net, ultimately setting up an easy scoring shot for Valtonen. Former NHLer Michal Grosek, who made his national team debut today had an opportunity to put the Czechs ahead again, but Backstróm made a spectacular save.
In the 2nd period Finns showed several good hockey moments. Pirnes made a strong play but failed to surprise goaltender Hnilicka. Later, Jere Karalahti showed very strong defensive work when Mikeska and Hubacek went into the Finnish zone two on one. The Czechs were better in the 3rd, but were unable to score. Hlavac or Hlinka got into good positions but their shots were weak. The game went scoreless in five minute overtime. Finally, Jiri Burger scored twice during the penalty shoot-out, giving the Czech Republic the 2:1 win over Finland.
Czech Republic - Finland 2:1 on penalty shoot-outs (1:1, 0:0, 0:0 - 0:0 - 1:0)Goals and assists: 3. Marek (Hlaváč, J. Hlinka), rozhodující samostatný nájezd Burger - 15. Valtonen (Niemi, Lepistö).
Referee: Bulanov (RUS) - Pouzar, Kalivoda (both CZE). Penalties: 5:5. Power-play Goals: 1:0. Audience: 3950.
Line-upsCzech Republic: Hnilička - Píša, Hejda, K. Rachůnek, Philipp, Hamr, Čáslava, F. Práček, Bičánek - Rosa, Divíšek, Bednář - Tenkrát (23. Sivek), Burger, Veselý - J. Hlinka, Grošek, Hlaváč - Marek, Mikeska, Hubáček.
Finland: Bäckström - Karalahti, Lehtonen, Lepistö, Niemi, Malmivaara, Saravo, Luomala - Kallio, Viuhkola, Pyörälä - Saarala, Pirnes, Pärssinen - Louhi, Hahl, Virta - Kalto, Kontiola, Valtonen.