Czechs beat Russia to win World bronze

Czech Republic’s Tomas Polinek celebrates after they won the bronze medal against Russia at the...

Czech Republic’s Tomas Polinek celebrates after they won the bronze medal against Russia at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Bratislava May 15, 2011. REUTERS/Petr Josek

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Roman Cervenka's hat trick lifted the Czech Republic to a 7-4 win over Russia in the bronze medal game at the 2011 World Championship.

Petr Prucha added a pair of goals for the Czechs, who last year beat Russia for the gold medal. Tomas Plekanec picked up a goal and an assist in the victory.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice for Russia, which failed to earn a medal for the first time since 2006. The Russians, in addition to last year's silver, captured the title in 2009 and 2008 while picking up a bronze in 2007.

The Czechs trailed 3-2 after a wild first period, then scored three times in the second to take control.

Prucha snapped a shot home from the slot for his second of the contest just 2:11 into the middle stanza to tie it and Cervenka netted his second of the game with 9:15 left in the period on a breakaway to give the Czechs a 4-3 edge.

Cervenka completed his hat trick with perfect deflection from the left side of the crease off a slap pass from Plekanec with 4:50 remaining in the second, but Vladimir Tarasenko flipped a shot into the net from the top of the crease less than a minute later to pull Russia within 5-4 heading to the third.

Jan Marek scored at the 6:30 mark of the third to give the Czechs some breathing room and Plekanec found the empty net to seal it.

Cervenka was credited with the game's first goal just 3:33 into the contest when Russia's Fedor Tyutin dove to intercept a pass and knocked the puck into his own net, but Kovalchuk tied it just under six minutes later with his first goal of the game. Dmitri Kulikov put the Russians ahead only 15 seconds later and it took Prucha a mere 42 seconds to tie it for the Czechs.

Kovalchuk put the Russians ahead again with 1:07 left in the opening period, depositing a shot over the fallen netminder after a tip attempt went wide and Sergei Zinoviev hit the side of the net with the initial rebound off the back boards.



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