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The Czech Republic beats Sweden 7-3 and reaches the world ice hockey final

The Czech Republic beats Sweden 7-3 and reaches the world ice hockey final


PRAGUE (AP) The Czech Republic produced a second three-goal period as it defeated Sweden 7-3 to advance to the final of the Ice Hockey World Cup for the first time since 2010 on Saturday.

Forward Dominik Kubalik and Lukas Sedlak each scored two goals and added an assist each, while forward Martin Necas had a four-point game with a goal and three assists.

David Kampf and Ondrej Kase each had a goal and an assist for the Czechs and goalkeeper Lukas Dostal stopped 36 shots in front of the roaring home fans at the Prague Arena.

The Czechs next face defending champions Canada or Switzerland, who play later on Saturday.

I play my best game when I'm enjoying a game and here I'm enjoying it 110%, Necas said. It was always my dream to play a semi-final and final in front of the Czech fans. But it's not a job, not yet. Tomorrow is the most important match for us and we have to be ready for it.

Necas became the first player with four points in the tournament semi-finals since Canada's Luc Robitaille in 1994.

Marcus Johansson, Marcus Pettersson and Joel Eriksson scored for the Swedes, whose eight-match winning run in the tournament came to an end.

We felt like we had some chances, but it's hard when you give up so many goals, Pettersson said.

The Czechs took the lead 5-2 in the second period, after the teams were tied at 2-2.

Kase gave the Czechs a 3-2 lead from close range (6:05) in that period, marking the first time the Swedes were behind in the tournament.

Necas doubled the lead with a one-time shot from the slot after Kampf won a face-off 16 seconds later. Kubalik then made it 5-2 with a one-timer from the right circle that ended up between the pads of goalkeeper Filip Gustavsson.

The goalkeeper was withdrawn after five goals from seventeen shots and replaced by Samuel Ersson.

Joel Eriksson narrowed the Czech lead to 5-3 on a power play with his seventh goal of the tournament.

Sweden piled on the pressure in the third period, but Sedlak extended the lead to 7-3 with two breakaway goals, both between Ersson's pads.

They were mentally stronger than us today, said Sweden captain Erik Karlsson. They scored on almost every chance they got, the star defender said.

Johansson grabbed the puck near the boards on the right side before scoring the opening goal 3:39 into the game.

Kubalik tied the score at 7:48 on a rebound following Necas' slap shot from the blue line.

The Swedes needed just 20 seconds to make it 2-1 through Pettersson, whose effort from the left was pushed into the net by Czech defender Jakub Krejcik.

The Czechs replied again.

Necas set up the second by feeding Kampf from behind the goal, leveling the match at 2 again midway through the first.


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