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World Championship: Faksa, Czechs come up short in bid for bronze

Stars center finishes with four points at the tournament as Czech Republic falls to Russia in a shootout

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars center Radek Faksa and the Czech Republic fell short in their bid for a bronze medal at the 2019 IIHF World Championship Sunday, falling to Russia in a shootout, 3-2, at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all four Czech attempts in the shootout, and Nikita Gusev and Los Angeles' Ilya Kovalchuk both scored in the skills competition for Russia, which picked up a medal at the tournament for the fifth time in the last six years while pushing the Czech's medal drought to seven years.

All four goals in regulation came in the first 20:39, and it stayed a 2-2 game through the rest of the second and third periods and ten-minute overtime despite the Czechs outshooting the Russians by a wide margin, including 24-7 over the final 30 minutes leading up to the shootout.

Faksa had no points, five shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in 16:24 of ice time. Faksa, who centered the fourth line Sunday with Washington's Jakub Vrana and Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat on this wings, won 9 of 17 faceoffs.

The Stars center finished the tournament with four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games. Faksa won 68 of 112 faceoffs (60.7 percent), finishing 12th at the tournament in faceoff winning percentage.

Finland won the gold medal, upsetting Canada, 3-1, in the championship game. Marko Anttila scored two goals, and Kevin Lankinen stopped 43 shots for the Finns who won their third gold medal at the Worlds and first since 2011. Finland, which had just a couple of NHL players on its roster, knocked off Sweden, Russia, and Canada -- all of which were stacked with NHL talent -- in the playoff round to take the gold medal.

Stars defenseman John Klingberg also played at the World Championship, recording four points (two goals and two assists) in five games for Sweden, which was eliminated in the quarterfinal round by Finland. Klingberg finished fourth at the tournament in average ice time (23:14 per game).

 

Sunday's medal games

Bronze: Russia 3, Czech Republic 2 (SO)
Gold: Finland 3, Canada 1

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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