Czechia captured their fifth IIHF World Championship Gold Medal in a dominating 3-0 win over Canada, in a World Championships that featured more NHL players than ever due to the NHL lockout, putting the Czechs on top in a rare “best on best” World Championships, retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
The Czechs struck early in the first, on a Václav Prospal rebound off a Martin Ručinský wide angle shot past Martin Brodeur to put the Czechs ahead 1-0 early on. Both teams played a fast-paced game, but the Canadians were unable to solve Tomáš Vokoun early, and the Czechs led in shots 12-10 after twenty minutes, along with the 1-0 lead. No goals were scored in the second, both teams did a good job of keeping the game clean, with relatively few penalties and the shots 11-7 in favour of Canada. The third period is where the game started to improve for the Czechs, and spiral downward for Canada. Early on, Ručinský made the score 2-0 on a beautiful cross-ice feed from Jaromír Jágr, that he blasted past Brodeur from just inside the blue line only 3:12 into the third.
Canada continued its attack in the third, but penalty troubles and a solid Vokoun performance stymied any equalizer attempts. With a man advantage, and Brodeur pulled for an extra attacker, Canada pounded on Vokoun, but was unable to convert, with Josef Vašíček eventually clearing the zone and potting the Czechs’ third goal on an empty net. Frustrations boiled over in the dying seconds of the game, with a scrum between Ryan Smyth and Jiří Fischer turning into a melee in front of the Czech goal, with Vokoun even getting involved, resulting in six penalties and a misconduct for Dany Heatley with 12 seconds remaining. Still, the penalties could not damper the Czech shutout victory, proving their hockey prowess in the first World Championships to be open to all players across the globe, not hindered by the NHL playoffs, due to the lockout.
With the win, Czechia won its 60th International Hockey Lineal Championship title, and its first since winning from Canada in the Preliminary finals of the 2004 World Championships in a 6-2 victory on home ice in Prague. This was the first time Canada and Czechia faced off for the IHLC since the 2004 World Cup Of Hockey Semifinals, where Canada dispatched the Czechs 4-3 in overtime to retain the IHLC. The Gold marked the fifth Worlds title for the Czech Republic since becoming an independent nation (and their 11th including Czechoslovakian titles), their first since winning three straight in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
The IHLC had a wild trip in Austria for the Worlds, entering the tournament with the United States, who successfully opened the tournament with wins against Slovenia and Latvia. Canada then won the title from the U.S., who then lost it to Sweden in their next game, who themselves lost their next game, returning the IHLC to Team USA. The U.S. then tied Ukraine in its final Qualifying Round game, before losing to the Czechs in the Quarterfinals in a 3-2 shootout loss. The Czechs defeated Sweden 3-2 in overtime to reach the Gold Medal Game. The win also ensured the title would join the Euro Hockey Tour, with the Czechs entering the 2005 Česká Pojišťovna Cup on home ice with the IHLC.
04:13 – GOAL – Prospal (Ručinský, Jágr)
08:10 – PEN – team, too many players
16:02 – PEN – Jovanovski, hooking
18:33 – PEN – Varaďa, charging
18:33 – PEN – Morrow, charging
29:50 – PEN – Maltby, roughing
32:15 – PEN – Ručinský, hooking
39:38 – PEN – Židlický, cross checking
43:12 – GOAL – Ručinský (Jágr, Čajánek)
44:50 – PEN – Hannan, cross checking
48:14 – PEN – Smyth, hooking
51:26 – PEN – Vašíček, holding
51:37 – PEN – Thornton, high sticking
53:24 – PEN – Fischer, roughing
53:24 – PEN – Nash, cross checking
57:23 – PEN – Hejda, high sticking
59:07 – EN GOAL – Vašíček
59:48 – PEN – Fischer, roughing
59:48 – PEN – Smyth, roughing
59:48 – PEN – Vokoun, roughing
59:48 – PEN – Phillips, roughing
59:48 – PEN – Čajánek, roughing
59:48 – PEN – Heatley, roughing + 10 min. misconduct
W: Vokoun (29-29)
L: Brodeur (24-26)
SHOTS ON GOAL
12+7+8 = 27
10+11+8 = 29
Goaltenders: Milan Hnilička, Tomáš Vokoun. Defence: Jiří Fischer, Jan Hejda, František Kaberle, Tomáš Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Jiří Šlégr, Jaroslav Špaček, Marek Židlický. Forwards: Petr Čajánek, Radek Dvořák, Aleš Hemský, Jan Hlaváč, Jaromír Jágr, Václav Prospal, Martin Ručinský, Martin Straka, Petr Sýkora, Václav Varaďa, Josef Vašíček, David Výborný (C).
Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo. Defence: Dan Boyle, Scott Hannan, Ed Jovanovski (A), Chris Phillips, Wade Redden, Robyn Regehr, Sheldon Souray. Forwards: Shane Doan, Kris Draper, Mike Fisher, Simon Gagné, Dany Heatley, Kirk Maltby, Patrick Marleau (A), Brendan Morrison, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Ryan Smyth (C), Joe Thornton (A), Scott Walker.