In a wild third-place affair, Roman Cervanka would carry the weight for the Czech Republic with two goals an an assist as the Czechs topped the Russians 7-4 to take bronze at the 2011 IIHF World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Ilya Kovalchuk had two goals in a losing effort for Russia.
The goal-scoring was early and often after Cervanka tallied at just 3:33 of the first period, giving the Czechs an early 1-0 lead, which they would hold for just under six minutes until the teams combined for three goals in 57 seconds as Kovalchuk and Dmitry Kulikov scored to give Russia a 2-1 edge and Petr Prucha scored seconds later to knot the game up at 2-2. Another goal by Kovalchuk late in the first period would give Russia a 3-2 lead at the first intermission.
The Czech Republic would take control in the second period with three unanswered goals including a second from Prucha who would tallied three points in the game. While the Russians would get one back late in the second, Tomas Plekanec's score at 15:10 of the second would stand up as the game-winner.
Plekanec would add a second goal of his own with a game-sealing empty-netter in the closing minutes of the third period.
Russian goaltender Konstantin Barulin, who had been impressive for much of the tournament, had a difficult afternoon as he gave up six goals on 27 shots. He was unable to match up to the virtuoso performance in net of Czech netminder Ondrej Pavelec
, who stopped 39 shots.
Stunningly, Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin finished the tournament with no points.
The bronze victory for the Czech Republic comes a year after winning gold in the 2010 IIHF World Championships. The 2011 champion will be crowned Sunday afternoon when Sweden faces Finland at 8:30 p.m. local time.
Author: David Kalan | NHL.com Staff Writer