May 18, 2006

Czechs edge Russia at hockey worlds

RIGA (Reuters) - Zbynek Irgl's goal late in extra time gave
the Czech Republic a dramatic 4-3 victory over Russia on
Thursday, sending the titleholders into the world championship

Irgl scored at 7:58 of the 10-minute extra period after
evading two defensemen and beating Russia goalie Maxim Sokolov
with a neat stickhandling move to knock previously unbeaten
Russia out of the tournament.

The Czechs looked on their way to victory in regulation
time until Alexei Mikhnov leveled the score for Russia with
just 65 seconds left to send the game into extra time.

Mikhnov slipped in a rebound from close range following
Vitaly Atyushov's shot from the point.

In Saturday's semi-finals the Czechs will meet the winner
of the quarter-final between Finland and Belarus to be played
later on Thursday.

Canada and Olympic champions Sweden booked their places in
the last four on Wednesday.