Sometimes to win you need a little help, and tonight the Czech Republic got it from a very unexpected source—Finnish forward Juha Fagerstedt.
Fagerstedt knew as soon as he took his penalty for interference with five minutes to go in the third period that he had opened a door for the Czechs. You could read the disappointment in his body language as he skated to the penalty box with his team clinging to a 2-1 lead.
On a team where the quality of goaltending often allows a one-goal advantage to be insurmountable, Fagerstedt put his squad down a man to a very hungry opponent.
For the first minute of the man-advantage, it appeared that the penalty might not come back to haunt them, as the Czechs could not get the puck out of their own zone. But their determination showed and the team made the best of their first good scoring chance of the power play. Milan Michalek deposited the puck behind goalie Keri Lehtonen on a great pass from Jiri Hudler, and Fagerstedt stepped out of the penalty box with his head in the same position it had been when he went in--down.
Game Night Reporter
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