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Czechs take bronze with 4-3 win over Greece

10. 6. 2017 | Derek OBrien
In their home tournament, Team Czech Republic shook off the disappointment of losing last night’s semi-final and claimed the bronze medal with a 4-3 win over Greece. Lukas Soukup scored in the second minute to get the fans cheering early, and the Czechs never trailed the rest of the way, although the Greeks stayed right in the game until the end. Greece finishes fourth for the second straight championship.

After Soukup’s quick goal, the Greeks tied it up just 1:19 later when Peter Arkalis got to a loose ball after an attacking zone faceoff and backhanded it past Czech starting goalie Jan Simara. The Czechs got the lead back five minutes later on the power play, however, when Tomas Kudela’s wrister from the high slot beat Ioannis Vrettis through a crowd.

After the frantic start to the game, the pace settled down somewhat. It was 2-1 after one period and the Czechs outscored the Greeks 2-1 in the second as well. Tomas Rejthar scored on a slapper on a 5-on-3, Nicholas Pitsikoulos scored on a Greek power play, and then with the teams playing 4-on-4 in the last four minutes of the middle frame, Tomas Fejfar ran down the left wing and found Tomas Wrobel streaking to the net for the tap-in and eventual game-winning goal.

The Greeks were determined and a goal by quarter-final hero Kevin Kuzmarski just eight seconds into the third period got them back within a goal when he beat Simara up high with a long wrister. Not long after, Simara was lifted in favour of Jan Jirotka, who closed the door the rest of the way despite some late pressure.


Drahomír Kadlec (coach of Czech republic): The world edge has been balanced too much, that every game is too hard. Whether it’s against the teams like India, Greece, Portugal. I’m glad, that our boys managed it well after yesterday’s match and we abreast the championship to the medal. We had the disappointment in our heads, but every medal from world championship must me counted. Later will boys realize, that they played fantastic tournament in front of fantastic people and the medal is the reward for the work, which they have done there.

George Vouloumanos (coach of Greece): Every year we want to improve. We finished fourth last tournament. We were hoping to get a medal this time around. We had much stronger team even though we lost a lot of good players, some key players. It’s a great success to beat strong USA. Now we lost to strong Czech Republic. We were there. We needed just two more minutes. I think the boys were battling hard. I thought we’re gonna get the goal at the end. It didn’t go our way. We’ll be here next time to get it.