Doling out a good scare for those spectating, the Czech Republic overcame a shocking second-period deficit en route to a 3-2 overtime triumph over a pesky Slovakian side; a last gasp Jaromir Jagr strike evened the score at two with less than three minutes remaining, allowing former Ottawa Senators first-rounder Jakub Klepis to tally within two minutes of the extra frame.
The Czech Republic flew out of the gates, whipping 17 shots at netminder Jan Laco’s cage in the first period alone; solving the Slovakian goaltender, Lev Praha‘s Ondrej Nemec opened the game up with his first goal of the tournament, a power play tally. Notching assists, Calgary Flames‘ forward Jiri Hudler and former Flames pivot Roman Cervenka combined to set-up the goal. It appeared as though the barrage of vulcanized rubber caught the Slovakian contingent off-guard; unable to generate any sustained attack, Slovakian skaters combined for a paltry five shots on net through 20 minutes.
In spite of the early setback, Slovakia managed to claw its way back into contention, scoring twice on four shots in the subsequent frame. Former Florida Panther Alexander Salak allowed the equalizer just five minutes in, conceding to Michel Miklik before allowing Marek Viedensky to pull the Slovaks ahead. Assisting on the markers, Tomas Tatar-product of the Detroit Red Wings-collected the only helper on the former, with the aforementioned Miklik and Montreal Canadiens‘ prospect Martin Reway combining to set up the latter. Salak would go on to finish with a sub-par .875 save percentage, dangerously straddling the Markstrom line.
The Slovaks would go on to throw a game-high seven shots on net in the third period, cancelling the five the Czechs managed to create. It appeared as though the underdogs would hold on for the win, until the grizzly Jagr converted a sensational goal to knot the game up at two with under three minutes remaining. Nemec bagged his second point of the contest on the primary helper, with San Jose Sharks‘ phenom Tomas Hertl picking up the hockey assist.
And as soon as the overtime period started, it was over; with Klepis finishing from Ondrej Vitasek and Martin Sevc, the Czech Republic finds itself atop Group A at the day’s end, biding its time and preparing for a monumental clash against powerhouse Sweden on the eleventh.
So that’s that. Kick back, relax, and scream unholies at your TV after your favorite NFL team’s GM decided to take an offensive lineman instead of a wide receiver. In other news, it turns out that Miroslav Satan (MIROSLAV F$%^&NG SATAN) is still alive, and isn’t partying in Tim Thomas’ apocalypse bunker after all. Don’t you just love a plot twist?