The Boston Bruins at the IIHF Hockey World Championship will both come home wearing medals: Zdeno Chara will wear silver and David Krejci has bronze.
The Czech Republic defeated Finland 3-2 to repeat as bronze medalists. The Czech scored all three of their goals in the first period, including Krejci’s, which came with less than a minute to play in the period and would eventually stand as the game-winner. They successfully held the Finns scoreless in the second and though Finland did cut the lead to one goal in the third, the Czechs held tight and took the win.
The Slovakian team didn’t fare so well against Russia, a team stacked with power that had yet to lose a game at all in the championship. Russia stayed perfect with a 6-2 win and won the gold. Chara, though, did the heavy lifting for his team by scoring both of its goals. The first came 66 seconds after the game started; the second came near the end of things, after the Russians had already created and expanded a large lead. Slovakia did win silver, which seemed thoroughly improbable when they opened the tournament with two losses in a row. This completes the team goals of getting to the quarterfinals (check!) and earning a place in the 2014 Olympics (check!), plus adds a little hardware to the fun.
Here are all the awards Chara got from today’s game: Best Player of the Game, Best Defenseman for the entire tournament, a place on the All-Star team, silver medal. While being presented with his awards, he wore a jersey with the number 38, worn by fellow countryman Pavol Demitra until his untimely death last summer in the tragic Lokomotiv plane crash. Chara wore the jersey backwards so that the number would be easily seen on camera. Demitra grew up in the same region of Slovakia as Chara and they were friends who played on the 2010 Olympic team together, so it was a touching tribute.
So, both Bruins in the tournament come back to their longer summer (as opposed to last year), but both of them come back as medalists. That’s not bad at all.
Looking far ahead to next year’s tournament, it will be held in Helsinki and Stockholm just like this year, except that Stockholm will play host to all the semifinal and medal games. The groups have also been shaken up a bit and new contenders Austria and Slovenia have been added in lieu of Italy and Kazakhstan. The 2013 Hockey World Championship will be from May 3 to 19, 2013.
Read more articles from Emma Harger here.