STOCKHOLM (Sweden) - Former Calgary Flames center Robert Reichel had three goals and one assist to lead the Czech Republic to a 6-1 win over the Canadian national hockey team at the Sweden Games before a crowd of 3,821 at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden
"We were putting a lot of pressure on the Czechs," said Canadian national team coach Tom Renney, "but Reichel came down wide and beat Andrew (Verner) with a shot inside the post to put them up 3-0. That was a turning point in the game for us."
Reichel's experience also seemed to make the difference as he combined with line-mates Radek Belohlav and Jan Alinc for four goals. Reichel played with Calgary from 1990-91 to the end of the shortened 1994-95 season. He also played 21 games with the Frankfurt Lions of the Germany Elite League during 1994-95, and returned to play for the Lions for this season.
"If you measure intensity and effort, we were much better tonight," said Canadian team captain Brad Layzell of Beaconsfield, Quebec. "But once again, the opponent's experience was a factor."
The Czech Republic scored five times, once in the first period, three in the middle frame and another in the third, before Layzell put Canada on the board with 4:51 left in the game. Montreal's Dany Bousquet assisted on the lone Canadian goal.
The teams played a tight first period with the Antonin Stavjana putting the Czechs on the scoreboard with just three seconds left in the opening period for a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Czech Republic, perhaps still smarting from their 4-1 loss to Canada in the bronze medal game of the 1995 World Championship, took over in the second period scoring three times on goals by Robert Kysela at 9:18 on a power-play, Reichel at 12:54 and Libor Zabransky at 15:03 for a 4-0 score at the end of 40 minutes.
The third period belonged to Reichel and line-mates Belohlav and Alinc. Reichel scored his second of the game at 12:03 on the power-play, and wrapped-up the Czech victory with his third at 16:56, but not before Canadian Layzell spoiled Petr Briza's shut-out at 15:09.
The Czechs out-shot Canada 27-17 with Verner making 21 saves. Briza stopped 16 of 17 shots for the Czech Republic.
Canada will battle winless Russia tomorrow (Sunday, February 11) for third place honours, while the two undefeated teams, Sweden and the Czech Republic, will play for the Sweden Games title.
Canada's 1995-96 record after 38 games stands at 24 wins, 10 losses and four ties.
Sweden Games, Stockholm
February 8 - Czech Republic 7 Russia 2; Sweden 7 Canada 1
February 9 - Sweden 2 Russia 0
February 10 - Czech Republic 6 Canada 1
February 11 - Czech Republic vs Sweden; Canada vs Russia