Ales Hemsky collected two assists, including a helper on the game-winner as the Czech Republic claimed the Bronze Medal at the 2012 World Hockey Championship in Helsinki.
"It's nice. We played a good game today and it's a great accomplishment. We're really happy about that," Hemsky said.
"The guys played great and our goalie kept us in the game all game. Everybody was working hard and we all came together in the end. It was a great win."
As No. 83 alluded to, Czech goaltender Jakub Stepanek was sensational in making 34 wins to record the victory.
At 12:17 of the opening period, Hemsky engineered the icebreaker as he stopped up inside the Finnish line and delivered a pass back to the point, taking a heavy hit to set up the play. Petr Prucha then redirected the ensuing bomb, putting the Czechs up 1-0.
Finland got back on even terms late at 16:53 when Mika Pyorala solved Petr Caslava between the Czech pipes, but it was a short-lived tie as Hemsky’s squad pulled back into the lead only 29 seconds later when Jiri Novotny collected his fourth goal of the tournament to make it a 2-1 game.
With a mere 53 seconds on the clock, the Czechs added another. Hemsky and David Krejci raced up-ice on a 2-on-1, passing back-and-forth in a highly-skilled give-and-go sequence.
Hemsky made the last dish back across, pulling goaltender Petri Vehanen well out of position in the process. Krejci had a wide-open net to shoot for, and he made no mistake in putting his club up by two heading into the middle period.
The Czech Republic held a 15-12 edge on the shot clock through 20 minutes, while both teams squandered an early power-play opportunity.
There was no scoring in the second period, but the Czechs did extend to a 27-20 shot lead overall.
Minor penalties to Jesse Joensuu and Petri Kontiola early in the third gave the Czech Republic a chance to extend their lead, but strong Finn kills kept the game close. They were rewarded moments later, as Jakub Nakladal’s over-aggression resulted in roughing and cross-checking calls going against him.
On the ensuing power-play, Finland’s Jussi Jokinen scored to bring his club back in it at 9:01.
The Czechs’ parade to the penalty box continued as the period wound down, with ex-Oiler Petr Nedved getting in on the action with a slashing minor. It didn’t stop there, either, as a high-sticking minor to Nakladal at 15:52 -- his third of the period -- gave the Finns yet another man-advantage opportunity.
Finland put everything they had on net, but Stepanek was strong in turning away 15 of his opponent’s 16 third-period shots.
Hemsky ended the game with two points, two shots on goal and a +1 rating in 13:54 of ice time.
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com - with files from Tom Gazzola & Nyki Scheuerman on location in Helsinki