The U.S. ice-hockey national team faced the Czech Republic in Vienna during the 2005 ice-hockey world championship. The match was the exact mirror image of the same quarter final match last year in Prague. Today, the U.S. took an early 2:0 lead in the beginning. The first 60 minutes ended with a 2:2 tie. No goal occured in the following 10 minutes - overtime. The Czech Republic scored the only goal during the shootout - 3:2 is the final result.
The Czechs have won the 1998 Olympic games in Nagano much like the 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005 world championships, see the history; the list of Czechoslovak gold medals would be too long for this blog. The Slovaks faced Canada. Although Slovakia was ahead most of the match, the Slovaks finally lost 4:5. The Canadians are simply better in dealing with the hockey sticks than the Americans; on Saturday, they will beat "unbeaten" Russia 4:3 to become the first finalist. On Sunday, Russia won the match against Sweden to grab the bronze medals.
Because the Canadians are better, it's them who faced the best ice-hockey team in the final match: the Czech Republic topped Sweden 3:2 in the other semi-final on Saturday evening - the last goal (the so-called Second Dvořák's New World Symphony) in overtime had to be confirmed by a videoreferee. What were the odds for the final match? Canada has never won a golden medal in Vienna, unlike Czechoslovakia, Czechia, the Soviet Union, and Sweden. Also, Canada has lost 1:11 with the Soviet Union in 1977 and 0:9 with Sweden in 1987 in the same city.
The previous final match between the Czech Republic and Canada took place in 1996 in Vienna, too. Canada lost 4:2 when the last two Czech goals occured within the last 19 seconds of the match. Last year, the Czechs beat Canada 6:2. The betting companies were kind of crazy because they believed that Canada's chances to win were higher than the Czech odds. However, the final match was a formality for Team Czechia. The Czechs defeated Canada 3:0.
- The Czech Republic is the 2005 world champion once again. Canada deserves the silver medals, and the Russians - the only team that was able to defeat the Czechs - grabbed the bronze medals.