MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. The Czech Republic’s national ice hockey team obviously missed today on its roster retired legend Jaromir Jagr after losing to the team USA 1-2 on a penalty shootout at the quarterfinal match of the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia.
Thursday’s US-Czech Republic quarterfinal game was a rematch of the 2015 IIHF World Championship, when the American team defeated hosts Czechs 3-0 in the bronze medal game.
The Czechs opened the score late in the opening period with a penalty shot, ordered by referees following the hooking from US Patrick Maroon. Tomas Zohorna spectacularly executed the penalty shot to the roar of the spectators’ stands, which were packed more with Czech team’s fans compared to the American team.
However, with more than a minute into the second period US Auston Matthews, assisted by his teammate Frank Vatrano, unsealed the Czech goal to tie the score at 1-1. The score remained unchanged before both teams retreated to their locker rooms ahead of the closing period.
The third period of the quarterfinal duel, held at the 12,000-seat VTB Ice Palace in Moscow, went scoreless and both teams continued their fight for the berth in the semifinal stage in overtime.
The ten-minute overtime, however, was not the final stretch of this match and it followed with a penalty shootout to eventually define which team would proceed on its way to the world champion’s title and which team would pack bags back home.
It was US Auston Matthews to score the only penalty shot, while the Czechs failed to execute all of their three attempts.
In a series of the Last Eight round games on Thursday, another match was played simultaneously in St. Petersburg between team Finland and Denmark. Unstoppable Finns crushed Denmark 5-1 and blasted into the semifinals with this championship’s spotless Won-Lost record of 8-0.
Two more qualifiers will be played later in the day with hosts Russia playing against the German squad, while reigning world champions Canada will be testing in St. Petersburg titled squad from Sweden.
The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship are held in the Russian capital of Moscow and in the country’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22. A total of 16 national teams, qualified to play in the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
During the knock-out stage the stadiums in Moscow and St. Petersburg will each host two matches of the quarterfinals round, while both semifinals, the match for the third place and the final are scheduled to be held at the 12,000-seat VTB Ice Palace in Moscow.
This is the 7th IIHF World Championship held in Russia as it was hosted by Moscow five times, namely in 1957, 1973, 1979, 1986 and 2007, and once by St. Petersburg in 2000.