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Michalek, Czechs denied by Slovaks in semifinals

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators

It's bronze or bust now for Milan Michalek and the Czech Republic.

The Senators forward and his teammates fell to Slovakia 3-1 today at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki in the semifinal round at the 2012 world hockey championship. Michalek and the Czechs will now play for the bronze medal Sunday (9 a.m. ET, TSN) against host Finland, which dropped a 6-2 decision to Russia in the early semifinal.

Michalek was on the ice for the Czechs' lone goal, scored by Michael Frolik of the Chicago Blackhawks at the 0:45 mark of the second period. That tied the game 1-1, but Slovakia's Miroslav Satan notched his second of the night — a shorthanded effort just 56 seconds into the third period — for the eventual game-winner. Libor Hudacek added insurance less than four minutes later.

Russia, meanwhile, got a hat trick from Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins in dispatching the host Finns. One of the pre-tournament favourites, the Russians will face Slovakia for the gold on Sunday (1:30 p.m. ET, TSN).

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