The semi-final game between the Czech Republic and Sweden offered a terrific fight for a spot in the gold medal game. The Czechs took the lead in the second period with Sweden coming right back. Jakub Skarek made some heroic saves to send the game into overtime, where Jakub Galvas finally decided it by scoring the winner.
Penalties: 7:3, plus Brännström (SWE) 5+20, sekání . PP goals: 0:0. SH goals: 0:0.
Referees: Čech, Hribik – Gebauer, Špůr. Attendance: 1968.
The Czechs had a good chance in the beginning with an early power play for Aterius’ tripping penalty, but Eriksson kept his goal closed for the moment.
In 8th minute, the home defence made a bad mistake behind Skarek’s goal and Wennlund with Bemström suddenly appeared with puck on the crease. Skarek was prepared.
Then even the Czech goalie was beaten with 5 mins to go in the first period, but Bednar made an incredible save for him by standing on the right place and deflecting Lundeström’s attempt out of the open goal.
The Swedes had a power play soon after the first intermission, but Czech penalty-killing was amazing and Filip Zadina put a cherry on top of that cake with a breakaway goal right after his team went back at full strength.
Walfridsson could equalise straight away, when he went one-on-one with Skarek, but Swedish d-man couldn’t put the puck behind him.
That was eventually accomplished by Rasmus Dahlin with a hidden snap shot from behind Radim Salda’s legs, but then Skarek robbed also Wennlund for a goal and possible 2-1 lead with another great save in face-to-face situation.
Skarek was man of the game and he only crowned his performance with couple more saves in the third. At first he stopped Sylvegärd in a great opportunity, then Salda helped him on a goal line when Bemström went around the net.
No more goals in the regulation let the game slip into overtime. Both teams had some solid chances, Skarek made another brilliant save with his pad so Jakub Galvas could score the golden goal in the end. With just 22 seconds to go in the OT, the Czech defenseman got a good pass from behind the goal and scored with a shot on far post.
The Czechs can thank Skarek for the chance to play for gold, Sweden will have to settle with a bronze medal game.