Zbynek Michalek’s Czech Republic team defeated Keith Ballard and his Team USA cohorts on Tuesday by a score of 4-3 at the 2007 IIHF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Michalek was held scoreless in the battle against his Coyotes teammate, while Ballard finished the day with one assist. His assist came while his team was trailing 3-1, he set up a Chad LaRose goal with 6:01 remaining in the third period to cut the deficit to one goal. Team USA would tie the score on an Andrew Hutchinson score with 4:23 to go, however, Jaroslav Bednar of the Czech Republic would get the game-winner with just 1:08 to play as the Czech Republic finished the preliminary round as the top team in Group B with a 3-0-0 record while the USA ended the opening round with two wins and one loss.
Russia edged Finland by a score of 5-4 to grab the top spot in Group D with a 3-0-0 mark. Coyotes forward Niko Kapanen pitched in with two assists in a losing effort for Finland, which is now 2-1-0 though the preliminary round of the tournament.
In other action on Tuesday at the World Championships, Denmark beat Ukrane 4-3 earning its first win of the tournament, while Belarus improved to 1-2-0 by defeating Austria 5-2.
Teams from Groups A and C will finish the prelims on Wednesday. For more information, log on to www.iihf.com or www.phoenixcoyotes.com.