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Czech hockey team beaten by Canada in contest for bronze

Czech hockey team beaten by Canada in contest for bronze

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) - The Russians will play for the Olympic men's hockey gold medal for the first time in 20 years thanks to a 34-year-old goaltender on a roll.

A day after losing to 60-1 outsider Germany in the semifinal, the nine-time Olympic champion defeated the Czech Republic 6-4 to salvage some plaudits from Pyeongchang.

Russian Federation hadn't reached an Olympic final since Nagano in 1998, where they lost to the Czechs, only managing a silver.

Germany took the lead in the first period on a five-on-three power-play goal by Brooks Macek, who was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and played his junior hockey in his homeland.

The Czech Republic has a chance for its first bronze medal since 2006, when it beat Russian Federation in Turin.

"I think Canada has the expectation that we will win in certain sports like curling and hockey the most recent ones where we struggled and I think a lot of that comes from what we value in our country", said Walinga.

Many Canadians share O'Dell's initial surprise and happiness to face underdog Germany instead of Sweden, and the same can be said for Russians, at least relieved to get the Czech Republic and not the faster United States. The David versus Goliath gold-medal game between Germany and the Russians is also a matchup of two of the closest teams in the Olympics.

The Czech Republic has the bronze from 2006 and gold from 1998 in Nagano. The 2018 team is already guaranteed a silver medal.

Andrew Ebbett and Chris Kelly each had two goals while Derek Roy and Wojtek Wolski added singles for Canada. They were up 3-1 in the third period, so we need to be at our best against them.

It was one of the Olympic tournament's most exciting contests.

After a tight second period kept the game at 3-1 Canada, the team's went pond-hockey-ish in the third.

A Martin Erat goal a little over a minute later was waved off due a Canadian goalie interference challenge.

The colour may not be the one they wanted, but it's a Winter Games medal nonetheless.

Canada may be looking for its third consecutive Olympic gold, but without the services of countless NHL All-Stars that led the roster in Vancouver and Sochi, the team has not looked like a juggernaut by any stretch.

But inconsistency took its toll, especially against the Germans when Canada paid for a substandard first 40 minutes. There are no National Hockey League players competing in Pyeongchang.

Reaching the final becomes a more incredible achievement when you realize the Germans didn't even qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics. His father, grandmother and grandfather are still back in Manitoba, and he said they didn't have split allegiances watching Germany versus Canada. Roman Cervenka scored to cut the lead to 6-3 and another on a late power play to reduce the deficit to two, but it wasn't almost enough as Canada held on to take bronze.

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