Czechs beat Finns for bronze
Czech Republic players celebrate winning their IIHF World Championships bronze medal game against Finland in Helsinki, Finland, May 20, 2012. (PETR JOSEK/Reuters)
The Czech Republic captured the bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Championships on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over host Finland.
Petr Prucha, Jiri Novotny and David Krejci scored first-period goals for the Czechs and Jakub Stepanek did just enough with 34 saves to lift the Czechs to a second straight bronze medal. The Czechs also won a medal for the third consecutive year, taking gold in 2010.
Mika Pyorala and Jussi Jokinen both scored for Finland, which outshot the Czechs 14-1 in the third period and came up just short in a bid for a repeat medal. The Finns won last year's gold in Bratislava. Petri Vehanen made 25 saves in defeat.
Krejci's third goal of the tournament gave the Czechs a 3-1 lead in the final minute of the first period. After a scoreless second, Jokinen pulled the Finns within one on a power play just past the nine-minute mark of the third.
That was all Stepanek yielded, however, despite the shot disparity in the closing period.
Russia and Slovakia will play for this year's gold medal later Sunday.