Match EHT Sweden – Czechia. In the picture from the left, Jan Kovář celebrates a goal with his teammates in Malmö, Sweden, on February 9, 2023.
Malmö (Sweden) – The Czech ice hockey players beat the home team of Sweden 2 in the opening match at the Swedish Games in Malmö :1 in overtime. They beat the Northerners on the third attempt for the first time this season and in the running table of the Euro Hockey Tour series they came within a single point of them in second place.
Photo gallery: Hockey national team 2022/23
Kloka ŠVidésko 2:1 in extra timeí” />
Kloka ŠVidésko 2:1 in extra timeí” />
Captain Jan Kovář opened the scoring during a power play in the 18th minute of his 148th national team start – but the first since last year's Olympics in Beijing. Striker Lucas Wallmark equalized at the beginning of the third period. After 35 seconds, defender Lukáš Klok made the decision after Kovář's pass. Another fullback, Ondřej Vála, has a winning debut.
The team of coach Kari Jalonen will play in the next match on Saturday at noon against Finland.
In the beginning, the game was played for a long time without interruption, but also without shots and interesting situations. It wasn't until the sixth minute that Stezka had to intervene after Larsson's attempt, Kovář countered for the Czech team, but Johansson was not caught. A moment later, Smejkal shot dangerously from the circle, the puck flew just past the Swedish goalkeeper's catcher, but also his left stick. Lindberg's attempt was covered by Stezek with a catch.
At the end of the 11th minute, Johansson was lucky when the defender Zábransky's hidden throw, which the home goalkeeper did not see through the player in front of him, was only stopped by the left post. In the 17th minute, Kempný ended a quick counterattack with a bomb from the circle from a full drive, the puck flew past the top corner. De la Rose immediately fouled and the Czechs were punished. Lakatoš leaned into Zámorské's shot, Johansson stopped the puck with concrete, but directly in front of Kovář and he easily opened the scoring.
Kovář fouled right at the start of the second act, the Swedes settled in the attacking zone with their first numerical advantage and Petersson finished dangerously twice in short succession. The trail was attentive and also fast enough. In the 24th minute, the home team played another power play after Jašek's mistake, but the Czech team defended itself again. The Swedes did just as well with Pudas' penalty.
Shortly after the half of the match, Kovář was looking for the lurking Zohorn with a smart pass in front of the goal area, but he did not beat Johansson. After that, Lindholm was in an ideal position, but he hit a prepared Stezek from the space between the circles. In the 37th minute, the Northerners shut down the guests in front of Stezka, but despite two big stops, they were unable to equalize this time either. Johansson, on the other hand, blocked Sobotko's well-aimed blow with his shoulder.
After two periods, the Swedes led 20:10 in shots on goal, but they won a goal only in the 43rd minute. With their great pressure, they quickly changed the puck with short passes, Wallmark got into a good position for a shot and burned Stezka with a shot under the top post. At the beginning of the 47th minute, it was again Wallmark who could complete the turnaround, this time Stezka had the upper hand. Johansson covered Kovář's finish from close range shortly afterwards.
The home goalkeeper was then saved by the stick for the second time after Zámorský's attempt. A minute and a half before the end of regular time, he pushed himself in front of Stezka Dahlén, but failed. The Swedes continued to try for the winning shot and Wallmark was close to it at the end, but even he did not prevent extra time. However, it only took a short time: Kovář, in a three-on-one renumbering, beautifully encouraged Klok and he did not hesitate to shoot from close range into the open goal.
Sweden – Czechia 1:1 (0:1, 0:0, 1:0) after third period
Goals and assists: 43. Wallmark (Dahlén, E. Larsson) – 18. Jan Kovář (Lakatoš, Zámorský). Referee: Heikkinen, Brander (both Finnish) – Lundgren, Yletyinen (both Swedish).
Sweden:Lars Johansson – L. Bengtsson, Lennström, Pudas, Djuse, Granberg, Alsing, Häman Aktell – C. Klingberg, Lander, Nordström – Petersson, P. Lindholm, Brännström – E. Larsson, Wallmark, Dahlén – Sörensen, J. de La Rose, Lindberg – A. Bengtsson. Coach: Sam Hallam.
CR: Stezka – Zámorský, Jordán, J. Jeřábek, Kempný, L. Zábranský Jr., Klok, Pýcha, Vála – Clapík, Jan Kovář, H. Zohorna – Lakatoš, Sobotka, Smejkal – M. Kovařčík, Jašek, Hrabík – O. Beránek, Černoch, Flek. Coach: Kari Jalonen.
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