Czech hockey team stuns Sweden 7-3 to advance to World Championship final

The Czech Republic will play the winner of tonight's game between Canada and Switzerland for the gold medal at this year's IIHF tournament.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 25.05.2024 16:54:00 (updated on 25.05.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic's national hockey team stunned Sweden at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship semifinals on Saturday, and will next play for the gold medal on Sunday evening. Their opponents will be the winner of tonight's game between Canada and Switzerland, which kicks off from 6:20 p.m.

The Czech Republic finished the preliminary round with an impressive five wins in seven games, only losing in overtime to Switzerland and Canada. They defeated the U.S. team in the opening round of the playoffs on Thursday to advance to today's semi-final game.

Sweden, meanwhile, had cruised through the preliminary round of this year's hockey championships undefeated, with seven wins all in regulation time. They earned the first seed in the playoffs, but had a scare against Finland in the quarter-final, topping them 2-1 in overtime.

Offense from both the Czechs and the Swedes was on full display earlier in today's game as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie at the end of the first period. Forwards Dominik Kubalík and David Kämpf each scored goals for the Czech side, with Martin Nečas assisting on both goals.

The Czech team came out in force during the second period, however, with three straight goals from Kubalík, Nečas, and Ondřej Kaše within three minutes of each other. Halfway through the second period, the Czech team took a commanding 5-2 lead, and forced Sweden to replace goalie Filip Gustavsson with backup Samuel Ersson. The Czechs would add two more goals in the third period en route to a 7-3 victory.

Sunday's gold medal game will see the Czech Republic take on either Canada or Switzerland, who play each other later tonight. Both teams topped the Czechs in overtime during the preliminary round of the world championships. Sweden will face the loser of tonight's game for the bronze medal.

Tomorrow's gold and bronze medal games will be played at O2 Arena in Prague. Fans in the city center will have the opportunity to watch them both on the big screen at Old Town Square, where locals will root for the Czech team to win their first IIHF world championship in 14 years. The bronze medal game will begin at 3:20 p.m., followed by the gold medal game at 8:20 p.m.

The Czech Republic has won a total of six gold medals at the annual IIHF tournament, with another six coming as part of Czechoslovakia before 1993. They've won one silver as the Czech Republic, with an additional 12 as part of Czechoslovakia.

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